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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Bull to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth
Bull, William, 1710-1791
May 15, 1775
Volume 09, Pages 1258-1260

Letter from Lieutenant Governor Bull of South Carolina to the Earl of Dartmouth.

Charlestown May 15th 1775.

My Lord,

Mr Irving Receiver General of His Majesty's Quit rents for this Province, put into my hands the inclosed petition to the King, with an apology for the paper on which it is written, as truly representing the condition of the petitioners; which I presume to transmit in that humble dress rather than that they should loose time in its being

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returned to them in order to make its appearance in a form more suitable to the King's Majesty, being confident that the Royal Goodness will discern and consider any reasonable request it may contain through every cloud of homely undress.

When the temporary Boundary Line between South and North Carolina was run in 1764 many who had received grants of land from the Governor of North Carolina, were found to be south of the line. Upon their application to me, I thought, and so advised them, if they entered their Grants in the Auditor's Office of this Province, with a discharge from the Receiver General of His Majesty's Quit rents in North Carolina, it would give them an equitable right to possess their lands in quiet without further expense, as justice would be done to the King in complying with the terms of the Grant, which many accordingly conformed to. But some persons having by surprize obtained a Grant in this Province for Lands that had been granted by the Governor of North Carolina, an ejectment was brought, and judgment given against the validity of the North Carolina Grant. This encouraged others to obtain Grants in the like ungenerous manner, and the North Carolina Grantee deterred by this precedent yielded his possession. The hardship and equity of their case induced the Governor and Council to give what relief was in their power, by publishing notice that such Grantees should have the preference of new Grants for these lands. Many applied and received new Grants; others relying on the equity of their case obstinately refused. And the Deputy Surveyors were forbid to lay out warrants upon Lands so circumstanced, many Grants were obtained by surprize, as it was difficult for the Governor to discover such practices. By these means many North Carolina Grantees were ruined, all were much prejudiced. And lately a further mode of prevention has been adopted; Exceptions are inserted in Grants to make them void, if they are for Lands formerly granted by North Carolina. As these may nevertheless be eluded, I beg leave humbly to suggest to your Lordship a means that would beyond doubt secure them in their possession which I would not presume to make use of without the Royal Permission as it is disposing of the King's Land. It is to establish and confirm all such Grants to the Grantee or Persons holding under him which have not yet been new granted by the Governor of this Province, by an Act of the General Assembly, which is submitted to your Lordship's consideration.

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I have nothing new to add to my last letter relative to the proceedings of the discontented in this Province, they continue in the same temper. The account of the Skirmish or Engagement between the King's Troops and the Provincials of Massachusetts near Lexington on the 19th of last month, seems to produce effects here very different from intimidation.

On the 10th instant Barnard Elliott Esq resigned his Seat as a Member of His Majesty's Council.

I have the honor to be &c.,