Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from John Hay concerning confiscated land
Hay, John, ca. 1757-1809
April 29, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 201-202

-------------------- page 201 --------------------

April 29th, 1780.

General Assembly of the State of North Carolina.

The humble petition of John Hay, jun.,


That Henry McCullock, esquire, having granted to Patrick Smith, late of Belfast, in the Kingdom of Ireland, merchant, twelve thousand five hundred acres of land within the bounds of this State, the said Patrick Smith conveyed one moiety thereof to Arthur Dobbs, Esquire, late Gov. of North Carolina, and the said Arthur Dobbs, by a writing under his hand dated the ninth day of June, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-three, declared that he held one-third part of the said moiety, containing two thousand and eighty acres, in trust for Arthur Rainey Maxwell, esquire, his heirs and assignees, and Conway Richard Dobbs, esquire, eldest son and heir-at-law of the said Arthur Dobbs, by deed bearing date the 12th day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, released and surrendered his trust in the said lands and assigned the same to Rainey Maxwell, esquire, son and heir-at-law of the said Arthur Rainey Maxwell, now deceased; and the said Rainey Maxwell, by Indenture bearing date the twenty-first day of the same July, conveyed the same to your Petitioner, his heirs and assigns, as by the said declaration of Arthur Dobbs, the release and assignment and indenture hereto annexed, and to which your petitioner begs leave to refer, may more fully appear.

That your petitioner embarked at the port of Belfast in the month of September last with about forty passengers, many of them persons of property, and arrived in the commonwealth of Virginia in the month of December following, all the said passengers originally intending becoming citizens of some of the United States of America, and to enable them to effect this in the most convenient manner brought with them a considerable part of their property.

Your petitioner, having at the risque of his property as well as that of his personal liberty, removed himself from his native country to become a citizen of this State, and thereby to enjoy a

-------------------- page 202 --------------------
participation of the blessings of liberty, flatters himself that his claim will appear to your honorable body in a favourable point of view, and that you will, from a regard to equity and natural justice, (not in the present case inconsistent, as your petitioner conceives, with sound policy,) so far do away the acts for confiscating and disposing of the estates of absentees as will enable your petitioner to take possession of the purchase he has made.

Your petitioner begs leave to represent to your honorable body that the title deeds for the lands claimed by your petitioner must have been in the possession of the late Gov. Dobbs, and your petitioner has reason to believe fell into the hands of the attorney of Mr. Edward Brice Dobbs; and as your petitioner has very lately come into this State, he hath not had an opportunity to apply for copies of them, nor doth he, with any degree of certainty, know where they are to be found.

Your petitioner also begs leave to represent that the late Governor Dobbs (as your petitioner has been informed and believes) sold several plantations and considerable quantities of lands in Mecklenburg County, and as it doth not appear from the annexed papers in what part of the State the lands claimed by your petitioner are situated, and if in Mecklenburg County, it is highly probable that the most valuable and greatest part of what Governor Dobbs held were disposed of in his life time, or have been since appropriated under the late act of Assembly, and as he possessed a tract of land on the Six Runs (?) in Duplin County, which is no other wise affected than be the confiscation act, your petitioner humbly hopes that your honorable body will order that two thousand and eighty acres of land may be laid off for him from Mr. Dobb's tract in Duplin County, as a full compensation for his claim by virtue of the annexed papers

Your petitioner begs leave to subjoin a testimonial from the Governor of Virginia, and a certificate of your petitioner's having taken the oath of allegiance and fidelity to this State, and is ready to make further proof (if necessary) to the authenticity of the annexed papers.

Your petitioner humbly prays that your honors may take the premises into consideration and grant him such relief as you, in your wisdom, shall think meet, and your Petitioner as in duty bound shall pray, &c.