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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Minutes of the Wilmington Committee of Safety
Wilmington (N.C.). Committee of Safety
December 14, 1774 - December 17, 1774
Volume 09, Pages 1098-1100

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[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Proceedings of the Safety Committee at Wilmington.

Wilmington 14th Dec 1774.

The Cargoes of goods imported by John Slingsby & Co., and put into the hands of the committee on the 10th inst., were put up to public sale at the Court-house pursuant to said notice when the importers became the last and highest bidders for the said goods, that is to say for the several goods imported for their store in Wilmington, the sum of nineteen hundred and twenty-three pounds, (£1923) ster. and for the several goods imported for their store at Cross-creek the sum of one thousand and twenty pounds, (£1020) like money.

Exclusive of the amount of the several goods in the two invoices as mentioned in the proceedings of the 10th inst, there was gunpowder for the Wilmington store to the amount of £11 10s sterling, and for the Cross-creek store to the amount of £6 18s Sterl. which as appears to the committee, never came to the hands of the said John Slingsby & Co., not having been shipped on board the said brigantine.

The Committee met at 6 o'clock P. M. Mr. Hereld Blackmore, informed that he had imported since the first instant, in the Sloop Mary and the Brig ——, five negro slaves, and craved advice how to proceed, as he had given orders for the purchasing and shipping said slaves, previous to the resolutions of the provincial Congress. The committee desired that Mr. Blackmore, would not sell, or send them out of town, but be accountable for them at the next meeting—then adjourned to December the 17th, 1774.


Wilmington, Saturday the 17th Dec. 1774.

The Committee met according to adjournment.

Present: Cornelius Harnett, John Ancrum, Robt Hogg, John Quince, Archibald M'Lain, James Walker and John Robeson.

The committee finding upon enquiry that one of the slaves imported by Hereld Blackmore, was ordered after the publication of the resolves of the provincial convention of this province, and in contradiction thereto, and that he had at that time an opportunity to contradict the orders he had given for the other slaves, and he now confessing that he sent a copy of the provincial resolves to Granada:

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It is the opinion of the committee that the said slaves be re-shipped. And the committee do resolve that all slaves, imported since the first day of this instant, or which may be imported, shall be re-shipped from this province. Upon a suggestion to the committee that Mr Arthur Mabson hath imported in his schooner from the West Indies, some slaves which are now at his plantation near this town: It is ordered that the sense of this committee relative thereto be made known to Mr. Mabson, and that Mr. Maclain write to him for that purpose, which he hath done as follows, to wit:

Wilmington, 17th Dec. 1774.

Sir: The committee for the town, chosen to observe the conduct of all persons touching the association of the General Congress, have resolved that all slaves imported into this river since the first day of December, instant, shall be re-shipped to the place from whence they came as soon as possible, and being informed that you have, contrary to the express letter of the said association, imported slaves from the West Indies, which you have now at your plantation, it is expected that you will give a particular account of the number thereof, and take such steps as may satisfy the committee that you intend, on your part, to adhere strictly to the regulations laid down by your representatives.

I am, Sir, your obd't servant,
Mr. Mabson.

Capt John Dean from Glasgow presented to the committee an invoice of goods amounting to (£15) fifteen pounds sterling, which he requested might be sold agreeable to the association and resolves of the General Congress, and the said goods are accordingly ordered to be sold on Monday the 19th inst.

Upon the complaints of divers persons that the proprietors of the distillery in this town have advanced the price of their Rum from 2s 8d to 3s currency, per gallon: Mr Wilkerson the acting partner was summoned and attended, and having alleged in his justification that Molasses is now at a higher price than formerly, that what he had imported lately, was purchased at an advanced price, and was of an inferior quality, and that the cargoes sent out to purchase it sold lower than usual, it is the opinion of this committee that they cannot interfere, unless the purchasers make it appear, that the proprietors

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of the distillery sell their spirits for greater profits than they have usually done.

The committee came to the same resolutions with respect to the complaints against some merchants for raising the price of goods, particularly gun-powder, it appearing that that article is extremely scarce, and that a merchant in this town, hath offered 4s per pound for a quantity to supply his country store, and could not procure it at four shillings and sixpence.

The committee adjourned till Monday the 19th inst.