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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council
North Carolina. Council
June 25, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 38-40

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. No. 222.]

At a Council held at Fort Johnston in North Carolina the 25th June 1775.

His Excellency the Governor.
The Honble James Hasell President Esqr
The HonbleJohn Rutherford Esqr
The Honble Lewis DeRossett Esqr
The Honble William Dry Esqr
The Honble Thomas McGwire Esqr

His Excellency addressed the Council in the following Terms:

Gentlemen of His Majesty's Honorable Council,

The seditious Combinations that have been formed, and are still forming in several parts of this Colony and the violent measures they pursue in compelling His Majesty's Subjects by various kinds of intimidations, to subscribe Associations, inconsistent with their Duty and allegiance to their Sovereign, The obliging People to frequent meetings in Arms, by the usurped Authority of Committees, the recent Assemblage of a Body of armed Men, in the town of Wilmington for the purpose of awing His Majesty's Loyal Subjects there into submission to the dictates of an illegal and tyranical tribunal erected there under that name, and the late most treasonable publication of a Committee in the County of Mecklenburg,

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explicitly renouncing obedience to His Majesty's Government and all lawfull authority whatsoever are such audacious and dangerous proceedings, and so directly tending to the dissolution of the Constitution of this Province, That I have thought it indispensably my Duty to advise with you on the measures proper to be taken for the maintenance of His Majesty's Government, and the Constitution of this Country, thus flagrantly insulted and violated. On my part Gentlemen the idea I have of the sacred trust I hold under the King, and my sense of Duty to my Royal Master, will suffer me to omit no exertion in my power that can be conducive to these ends, and I trust Gentlemen that I may expect from your Duty to His Majesty and zeal for his service, and the good of your Country, not only your best advice, but your utmost influence in this alarming conjuncture to carry into execution most effectually the measures you may advise, for the support of the Rights of His Majesty's Crown, for the security and welfare of the People, and for the maintenance of the Laws and Constitution of this Province.

To which the Council replied:

“The unhappy situation of this Province renders it impossible for His Excellency to take any other steps than those he has already taken to suppress the disturbances he so justly complains of.”

The Governor read to the Council that part of His Majesty's Commission that vests him with military powers, and afterwards represented to the Board, that Militia Commissions had been issued to very few Counties since the last Militia Law passed, owing to the default of the Colonels in general, to make proper return of the officers, and desired their advice on the expediency of issuing Militia Commissions to the Countys at large, or to any particular Counties supposed better affected to Government than the rest, in this time of commotion.

The opinion of the Council is, that his Excellency issue Militia Commissions to the Countys at large.

The Governor further acquainted this Board, that Captain Collet Governor of Fort Johnston had represented to him that the said Fort was in no state of defence, that the Establishment of the Garrison consisting of 25 men only, is reduced by desertion to less than half that number, and that it is also destitute of powder, & in no condition to afford a sure protection to the valuable Artillery belonging to His Majesty in the said place in case of an attempt upon it, and desired the sentiments of the Council, on the expediency of his

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taking any measure for putting the Fort in a state of defence, by furnishing it with Ammunition, and raising men to strengthen the Garrison, observing at the same time that there are no funds allotted in this Country for such exigencies, nor any other resource that he knew, but to make application if the Council should advise such charge to be incurred, for money to defray the same to General Gage, Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in America, or to the Lords Commissrs of his Majesty's Treasury.

It is the unanimous opinion of the Council, that His Excellency apply to General Gage or to the Lords of the Treasury for Money to defray the expences of repairing the Fort, and raising and maintaining a Garrison for its defence, the same being necessary for the protection and security of the Commerce of this River.

The Assembly having already declared their intention of discontinuing the present Establishment, His Excellency asked the opinion of the Council on the expediency of meeting the Assembly at the time fixed by the Writs of Election.

Their unanimous opinion is, that the meeting be postponed to a future day, as from the example of the other Colonies there is not any probability of their proceeding to business.

JO. MARTIN, Governor.