Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Johnston to Josiah Martin
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
November 16, 1775
Volume 11, Pages 257-258

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol: 222.]
In Gov: Martin's (No 8) of 17th May 1777 (3.)

Edenton. November 16th 1775.


I have this day had the honour of receiving your Excellency's letter signifying that you had been pleased to suspend me from acting as Deputy to Mr Turner in the Naval Office with the reasons for such removal and it gives me pleasure that I do not find neglect of the duties of my Office in the catalogue of my crimes.

At the same time that I hold myself obliged to your Excellency

-------------------- page 258 --------------------
for the polite manner in which you are pleased to express yourself of my private character you will pardon me for saying that I think I have reason to complain of the invidious point of view in which you place my public transactions when you consider the late meeting of the Delegates or Deputies of the Inhabitants of this Province at Hillsborough a Body of my own creation. Your Excellency cannot be ignorant that I was a mere instrument on this occasion under the direction of the people, a people among whom I have long resided who have on all occasions placed the greatest confidence in me to whose favourable opinion I owe everything I possess and to whom I am bound by gratitude (that most powerful and inviolable tie on every honest mind) to render every service they can demand of me in defence of what they esteem their just rights at the risque of my life and property.

You will further Sir be pleased to understand that I never considered myself in that honourable light in which you place me One of the King's servants. Being entirely unknown to those who have the disposal of the King's favours I never enjoyed, nor had I a right to expect, any Office under His Majesty. The office which I have for some years past executed under the deputation of Mr Turner was an honest purchase for which I paid punctually an annual sum which I shall continue to pay 'till the expiration of the term for which I should have held it agreably to our contract.

Permit me, Sir, to add that had all the King's servants in this Province been as well informed of the disposition of the Inhabitants as they might have been and taken the same pains to promote peace good order and obedience to the laws that I flatter myself I have done the source of your Excellency's increasing lamentations had never existed or had it existed it would have been in so small a degree that 'ere this it would have been nearly exhausted but Sir a recapitulation of past errors which it is now too late to correct would be painful to me and might appear impertinent to your Excellency I shall therefore decline the ungrateful Task and beg leave with all due respect to submit myself

Sir, your Excellency's
most obedient humble servant
(a true Copy)