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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth to Josiah Martin
Dartmouth, William Legge, Earl of, 1731 - 1801
February 01, 1775
Volume 09, Pages 1119-1120

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

Whitehall, 1st Febry 1775.


I have often observed with regret the want of a more direct and expedicious channel of correspondence with the Province of North Carolina and I am led to make this remark to you now from not having received your letter of the 1st Septr before the 27th of January, the consequence of which has been that the King and his servants have been kept entirely ignorant of the state and temper of the Province and of those extraordinary proceedings of the people related in that dispatch.

I shall not think it necessary in this letter to say anything which may anticipate the consideration of the business relative to the establishment of Courts of Justice which I hope may at length be disentangled from those difficulties which it is evident have been thrown in the way by interested persons, and that the people will thro' your unwearied endeavors be induced to listen to some reasonable accommodations in spite of the dangerous machinations of opposition.

The proposal you make of reducing the representation of the Northern Counties to a level with the other Counties in the Province certainly deserves attention, but unless the people themselves from a conviction of the Propriety of it can be induced to make such an arrangement I do not see how it can be effected, for in the present Temper of America to refuse Obedience to the Authority of Parliament there is little hope that they would comply with the most reasonable Requisition of the Crown.

The Duplicity of some Members of the Council who in the collective capacity of Councellors expressed the highest disapprobation of those meetings of the People to which as Individuals they were

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giving every countenance and support cannot be sufficiently regretted and must become an immediate object of consideration.

It would however have been a great advantage to me if when you so strenuously recommend the removal of those Gentlemen you had pointed out those who you wish to be put in their places.

The behaviour of Mr Edwards the Deputy Auditor and of the Deputy Naval Officer is of so flagitous a nature that they certainly ought not to continue in the execution of those important offices and I see no reason why the latter should not be superseded by your Authority but as you have written to Mr Cholmondley I wish to see him before any final resolution is taken repecting his Deputy.

It will be a great satisfaction to me to hear that the air of New York has been of that benefit to you and your Family that you expected from it and that you are returned to your Government in perfect health.

I am &c: