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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Rutherford to Josiah Martin
Rutherford, John, 1724-1782
July 26, 1774
Volume 09, Page 1021

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[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. No. 222.]
Letter from William Rutherford to Governor Martin.

North Carolina, July 26th 1774.


Agreeable to your Excellency's Order in Council of the 25th Instant I have perused the Royal Instructions of the 3rd of February last relative to Lands, which it is my humble opinion is quite too late in the day to be of the least service to the Crown, agreeable to what appears to me to be the Royal Intention.

As I have had the honor to serve the Crown many years in this Province and am well acquainted therewith, having been appointed by his Excellency Governor Tryon, one of the Commissioners for running the Boundary Line with the Cherokee Indians, and afterwards by your Excellency to run the Boundary Line with South Carolina, having had many other opportunities of viewing the Crown Lands in the different parts of his Majesty's District in this province, having also made enquiries of the Deputy Surveyors for the different Counties, it is upon the whole my sincere belief that there is not in all that part of the Country belonging to the Crown, in one body or tract three hundred Acres of real good Land—Greatest part of the Lands lately patented are little better than barrens, taken up for the sake of Pine Timber trees for saw mills or for lightwood to make Tar, but the far greatest part by very poor people for Range for Black cattle.

I humbly submit it to your Excellency as my real opinion that the Royal Instruction above mentioned will operate in this Province as a probibition, and not only in that respect will be of great prejudice to the Crown Revenue, but occasion a great deal of confusion and disturbance in the Country by many people seating themselves on vacant Lands, destroying Timber, Lightwood &c., such having no real title to Lands but ready to fly from one Province to another to shelter themselves from prosecutions, as was the case with many Regulators in the year 1770, could not be looked upon otherwise than as Disturbers of the Public Peace of the Colony.

I am &c
Recr Genl.

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: The receiver general of North Carolina at this time was John Rutherford, not William Rutherford as indicated in the document.