An Answer to the several Queries sent by the Lords Commissionrs. for Trade and Plantations.
Quere 1. What is the Situation of the Province under your Government the Nature of the Country, Soil, and Climate; what are the principal Rivers and Harbours, the Latitudes and Longitudes of the most considerable places in it or the neighbouring French or Spanish Settlements? Have these Latitudes and Longitudes been settled by good Observations, or only by common Computations, and from whence are the Longitudes computed?
Answer. The Province of North Carolina is situated betwixt Virginia and South Carolina—The Northern Boundary is fixed at 36°, 30' No. Latitude, and the Boundary betwixt His Majesty and Lord Granville's Precincts is fixed at 35°, 34' by a West Line which has been run as far West as Coldstream river between Rowan and Anson Counties, the Southern Line is not yet determined. It was begun by Commissioners and run North West from Little River in 33°, 44' thirty Miles West of Cape Fear River to about 35° near Pedee River and from thence it was intended to run West parallel to the Virginia and Lord Granville's Lines, but that not then agreeing with the first Instructions it was carried no further, since which these Instructions were withdrawn, and nothing since determined upon it, if that had been determined, the Breadth of His Majesty's District which pays him Quit Rents wou'd have been 34', and Lord Granville's 56'.
The Climate being so far fixed and the Sea Coast which lies North East, and South West, from Cape Hatteras to Little River, and from Cape Hatteras to the Virginia Line North and South. I shall proceed to the Soil which is very variable along the Sea Coast, as there are great Island Sounds betwixt the Sandy Islands on the Ocean and the Main Land which run in a Chain with many Inlets from Currituck the Northern Boundary to Cape Fear and Little River, with many Rivers running into the Sounds; the Islands and adjoining Lands are all sandy, and not a Stone to be seen for near 100 Miles from the Sea except a few Lime stone shelly rocks in and near the Rivers.
The Soil along the Rivers is generally boggy and marshy full of aquatick Trees and Reeds or Canes wth. a few rising bluffs from 20 to 30 feet which farther in the Country rise to 40 or 60 feet High, the Banks of the Rivers, there, being often of that height, where extraordinary Floods often rise above 40 feet, the Lands at a Distance from the Rivers are generally Clay Savannahs or Laurel Thickets and Swamps interspersed with Sandy Hills full of pines called pine barren, chiefly foxtailed or long leaved Pines the best for Tar Pitch & Turpentine, the best Grounds abound with Oak and Hiccory, and all the Swamps are entire Thickets of a vast Variety of Trees interspersed with Canes or Reeds. The Sandy Islands and Sea Coast on the Main abound with Cedar white and red a Species of Juniper, and Live or evergreen Oaks excellent for Ship Timber being all crooked and very lasting, and in all Swamps very large Cypress, poplar Tulip, red bay, and Gum Trees, some near 30 feet in Circumference. All the back Western Country is formed into rising hills and rich bottoms, some stony rocky and gravelly full of Spar, but no Lime stone, generally very good Corn and pasture grounds, the Sandy light grounds full of shrubby black Oak and small pines, all fit for vines, they growing wild in great Numbers.
The chief Rivers which run into the Sea or Sounds beginng. North wards are the River Roanoak, which runs from the Westward near the Virginia Line almost East into Albemarle Sound and enters the Sea at Roanoak Inlet and thro' several others and by Pamplico Sound at Ocacock Bar, into this River several others empty themselves on the North Side as Chowan, Little River, Pequimons & Pasquotank, which are all navigable for several Miles for Vessels wch. draw 10 feet water, but it is a tedious crooked Navigation, as they must all pass through Ocacock Inlet and bar and over a great Swash within on which is not 10 feet water. This River lies in about 35°,50' No. Latitude, upon which Edenton is situated.
The next considerable River is Pamplico which also runs into Pamplico Sound and thence to Ocacock Bar; on this River is Bath Town situated in 35°, 30.22' at about 40 Miles above the Sound: this River is navigable above 100 Miles into the Country; the Head of this River is called Tar River.
The next considerable River South of Pamplico is Neuse River, betwixt which and Trent River which is also navigable the Town of New Bern is situated about 80 Miles East of Ocacock Bar which is it's outlet as well as the forementioned Rivers into the Sea; there are several other Rivers or Creeks upon each Side of this River which enter into it which are navigable For some Miles; there is also a Navigation from Pamplico Sound for small Vessels to Port Beaufort at old Topsail Inlet, of about 5 feet Water.
The Town of New Bern is situated in 35°—all the Trade of these 3 Rivers must be exported over Ocacock Bar which lies betwixt that Island and Core Banks, upon which a Town is laid out called Portsmouth, at which Fort Granville a Battery and house is erected for a Barrack, this being the only Entrance for Ships coming to Roanoak Pamplico and Neuse River, there is about 16 feet water upon the Bar, but on the Swash within Portsmouth not above 10 feet and generally within upon the Sound not above 12 feet Water, so that large Ships must lie near Portsmouth, and as there is little or no Tide up these Rivers ^as^ it is expanded in the Sounds it is a great Check to the Navigation of these Rivers.
There are several small Rivers and Inlets Southwards of these betwixt Cape Look out and Cape Fear River navigable for small Vessels vizt. Beaufort a small Town within the Bar of Old Topsail Inlet, upon which there is 16 feet water, and at Cape Look out 3 Leagues Eastward of it a small Harbour Land locked from all Winds, and without it a very good road the best and safest from the Capes of Virginia to Georgia after avoiding a Bank which extends S.S.E. from it for Leagues. Southward of Beaufort are Bogue, Bear, New River, New Topsail, Deep and Rich Inlets navigable for small Vessels for some Miles with other smaller Inlets North of Cape Fear River; But the Chief River for Navigation and Trade is Cape Fear River, there being 18 feet water upon the Bar navigable for large Ships above Brunswick 15 Miles up the River and as high as Wilmington after passing the Flats, upon which there is about 11 or 12 feet water, (since a new Entrance has been opened by a Hurricane on the 22d. of September last at a place called the Hawlower 8 or 10 Miles above the former Entrance) and is navigable for small Vessels for above 100 Miles farther upon the No. West Branch, and above 60 Miles higher on the No. East Branch, in which a rapid Tide flows for near 100 Miles, this being the only Inlet for all the Southern & Western parts of this Province; there are also several navigable Creeks upon the River; there are also to the Westward of this River the Inlets of Shalot Lockwoods Folly and Little River navigable for small Vessels.
There are several large Swamps or Bogs called here dismal Swamps, which are low Grounds covered with reeds or Canes interspersed with dry Islands and Thickets, occasioned by not being drained which will be the best Lands in the Province when reclaimed, some of these are from 10 to near 30 Miles long, and from 10 to 20 Miles broad, particularly one joining to Virginia, and another betwixt Albemarle and Pamplico Sounds, others between Neuse & Newport Rivers, and on the Heads of Bogue and Bear Inlets, and Waggamaw Lake which falls into Winyaw near George's Town in So. Carolina.
The Latitudes are very correctly taken; I took the Latitudes by a Quadrant of 18 Inches, and found New Bern exactly to lie in 35° and also at Portsmouth near Ocacock Bar, which was exactly the same; I took it also at Bath Town and found it 35°, 30.22'. I took it also at Cape Look out Harbour and found it 34°, 31.5', and at Bald head 2 Miles North of the Bar of Cape Fear and found it 33°, 44' as also at Brunswick on Cape Fear River and found it 33° 56'—I also took the Longitude at Brunswick by an Emersion of the first Satellite of Jupiter, and found it 80° 12' West from London.
Quere 2d. What are the Boundaries? Have those Boundaries been settled & ascertained, and by what Authority? If any Parts are disputed by whom, when did the Disputes arise, and what Steps have been taken or in your Opinion ought to have been taken to fix the true Boundary Lines?
Answer. I have above mentioned the Northern Boundary already determined and fixt by His Majesty, and have some Years ago sent to your Lordships Board a full State of the Dispute about the Southern Boundary betwixt this Province and South Carolina to which I refer; However I shall be as explicite as I can ^in^ informing your Lordships of the Steps that have been taken in fixing that Boundary, and the Cause of the Dispute, and the reasons for suspending the Execution according to the Instructions formerly given, which Your Lordships thought proper to withdraw upon my coming over to this Governmt. as I believe you also did to Govr. Lyttelton upon his going to South Carolina.
The Lords of Trade not having been properly informed wth. the interior Situation of the Provinces of North and South Carolina and the Course of the Rivers before Georgia was separated from So. Carolina imagining that the Rivers ran generally from the West to the East as the River Roanoak and the Rivers to the Northwards in Virginia hold that Course gave Instructions to the Governors of this and the Southern Province to run the Boundary Line from the Entrance of Little River 30 Miles West of Cape Fear River, and to keep the Course at 30 Miles Distance West of Cape Fear North West Branch to the Springheads of that Branch, not considering that as the Sea Coast from Cape Hatteras to the Southern Boundary of Georgia lay No. Et. & So West, and that Rivers from the Mountains hold generally a Course from No. Wt. to So. Et.—If therefore these Instructions had been followed, as the Springs of the No. West branch of Cape Fear River have their rise very near to the Virginia Line there wou'd have been no back Country Westward belonging to this Province but a Slip of 5 or 6 miles breath.
The Commissioners therefore finding that the Entrance of Little River was in 33°, 44' run the Line No. West cross Waggamaw River at 30 Miles Distance from Cape Fear River to the Latitude of 35° near to the Great Pedee River which falls into the Sea at Winyaw and went no further, but thought it reasonable that a Due West Course shou'd be held in that Latitude parallel to the Virginia Boundary Line, but would not run it contrary to the Instructions until His Majestys pleasure was known; by this Line one Degree and a half wod. have been the Breadth of this Province from North to South except a Stripe along the Sea Coast from Cape Look out to Little River, when South Carolina would have had above 5 Degrees of Latitude from the Al^la^tamaha to 35°—This is the supposed Boundary Line since that time, and Patents have been constantly granted as far South as that Latitude until I came over, and then several New Comers to avoid paying Taxes to this Province have gone to the South Government and taken out Patents there upon Lands formerly patented and possessed here, which occasions great Confusion, as they are not amenable to the Laws of either Province.
His Majesty upon granting a Charter to the Trustees of Georgia granted to them all the Sea Coast from Al^la^tamaha to Savanna Rivers and not knowing the Course of Savanna River made that River the Boundary betwixt South Carolina & Georgia, and as that River ran also from No. Wt. to So. East from the Mountains the South Carolina Province was cut off from having a back Country, and this gave them a pretence to renew their Claim of having their Northern Boundary run up in like Manner to cut off this Province from the Western Country.
This appearing to your Lordship's Board an unnatural & unequitable Line, as the Northern Boundaries of Maryland with Pensylvania and the Virginia ^Boundary^ along the Powtomac River and South Boundary of Virginia, and the Division betwixt His Majesty's and Lord Granville's Precincts and also the South Boundary of Georgia were laid out by parallel Lines East & West in their different Latitudes, they thought proper to withdraw their former Instructions and that each Province shod. lay before your Lordships what they thought wod. be an equitable Line without Prejudice to each Province, with reasons to support their Requests to be determined by His Majesty.
Since therefore the Province of Georgia has surrendered up their Charter to the Crown, and His Majesty is at Liberty to fix the Boundaries of each Province as it may appear most equitable & least prejudicial to each Province by parallel Lines where natural Boundaries can't be fixed.
I humbly beg leave to propose a proper Boundary Line wch. may be least prejudicial to either of the Provinces; whether His Majesty may think proper to run the parallel Lines West of Pedee in the Latitude of 35°, or rather more Southerly, as Lord Granville's Precinct by that Latitude takes up ⅔ds of this Province, is proper for your Lordship's Consideration—But I submit it to you whether it wod. not be a great Benefit to this and no prejudice to the Southern Province if all the Lands from Little River to the Entrance of Winyaw and so up along the East Bank of Pedee River were added to this Province, until it reaches our Southern parallel, and a Southern Parallel may be run betwixt South Carolina and Georgia West of Savanna River, as the Georgia Charter is surrendered & His Majesty may alter and fix the Boundary betwixt these Provinces as he thinks proper.
The reason for my proposing this Addition to this Province is that the upper part of Waggamaw River and Lake runs into Winyaw, as also the Great and Little Pedee, and the Yadkin and Rocky Rivers in this Province join Pedee, and now pass through the South Province into the Sea and as that Province has laid Duties upon our Goods imported into that Colony, we have no Passage to the Sea without a tedious Land Carriage either to Cape Fear River, or by a long Land Carriage from our Western Frontier to Charles Town, whereas if the Eastern Bank of Pedee to the Sea at Winyaw was in this Province, and the Western in their Possession to their Northern parallel then each cou'd export their own Produce without paying Duties to the other Province; and if His Majesty pleases to make the Savanna the Boundary betwixt So. Carolina and Georgia near the Sea and run a Western parallel at some Distance from the Sea betwixt these provinces, So. Carolina would have a much greater and better Country added to that Province than wod. be given to this, and the Breadth of that Province woud. be still much greater even double to this Northern Province, and the Province of Georgia be equal to the South Province.
Third and 4th. Queries to be answered by the Collectors Naval Officers and Merchants.
Quere 5th. What Trade has the Province under your Government with any foreign plantations or any ports of Europe besides Great Britain? How is the Trade carried on, and what Commodities are sent to and received from such foreign Countries or Plantations?
Answer. No foreign Trade whatsoever is carried on between this Colony and any foreign Plantation except wth. Eustatia and St. Croix, and with no other foreign Countries in Europe, except wth. the Madeiras and Azores, and with the Canaries for Wine, Salt from Portugal not being allowed to be imported, these are brought By Ships sailing from Britain, nor have we any Trade with Ireland upon Account that Naval Stores and other enumerated Commodities are prohibited, which is a great Loss to Britain & this Colony.
Quere 6th. What Methods are there used to prevent illegal Trade, and are the same effectual? What Means in your Opinion may be proper for obtaining so valuable an End?
Answer. The only Means taken to prevent illegal Trade is putting the Laws in force when they don't comply with the Act of Navigation & other British Laws which bind the Colonies. At present there is scarce any illegal Trade carried on, not above 2 or 3 Vessels condemned these 7 Years.
The chief Method to prevent any for the future upon a peace wod. be to have one or two Companies established here from Britain to be fixt at Fort Johnston upon Cape Fear and at Fort Granville or Core banks near Ocacock Bar and at a Battery erected at Port Beaufort on Old Topsail to assist the Government and Collectors who having no Revenue Officers under them and but one Deputy Naval Officer in each Port can neither search Vessels properly nor make Seizures having no Tide Officers to put on board. It wod. also be of great Benefit to Britain to take off the Limitation of several enumerated Commodities which prevents a Trade with Ireland, and several other Countries which is a great Loss to the Trade of Britain and Sale of their Manufactures, as well as to this Colony, and may encourage them to go into an illicite Trade, as it prevents their having Returns to send to Britain for their Manufactures and other Goods.
Quere 7th. What is the natural Produce of the Country, staple Commodities and Manufactures; what Value of Sterling Money may you annually export and to what places? What Regulations have been at any time made for preventing frauds and abuses in the Exportation of the Produce or Manufactures of the Province, and at what time did the Regulations take place?
Answer. The natural produce and Staple Commodities of this Province, for of Manufactures there are none, consist of Naval Stores Masts Yards Plank and Ship Timber, Tar Pitch and Turpentine, Lumber of all kinds, furs and Peltry, Beef Pork Hides and some Tanned Leather, Indian Corn Pease Rice and of late flour, Hemp flax and flax Seed, Tobacoo, Bees and Myrtle wax, and some Indigo. We export little or no bullion or Sterling the whole Trade being carried on by paper Currency, so that what Bullion can be procured is bought up at Cent ⅌ Cent above Sterling Money, a Guinea above 40 Shillings, a pistole above 32, and a Dollar above 9 Shillings: as to the Value of our Exports on Sterl. Money when I can get a proper Return from the several Collectors & Merchants who only can inform me, I shall send You as particular an Account as I can procure.
The only Regulations made to prevent Frauds in the Exports are some Inspecting Laws made some of them lately to inspect Beef Pork Pitch Tar ^Tobacco^ and Turpentine in several parts, the Inspectors not nominated by nor under the Power of the Crown, but are chosen by the Justices in their Inferior Courts of Session, given in Jobs to their Friends & therefore not properly taken care of.
Quere 8th. What Mines are there, have these Mines been opened and worked, and what may be the reputed Produce?
Answer. No Mines are discovered opened or worked, but great Quantities of Iron ore have been found upon the surface of the Ground, but not followed so as to find a Vein.
No Forges or Bloomeries have been yet erected occasioned by the Sloth or Poverty of the Inhabitants, upon which Account no Company has been formed to carry on a Bloomery. Lead Ore has been found near the Virginia Line near or among the Mountains near Holston's river, but no Work has been carried on tho' the Ore seems rich—there are also Symptoms of Copper ore.
Quere 9th. What is the Number of the Inhabitants whites and Blacks?
Answer. I have endeavoured to procure a proper Answer to be made to this Query having sent Orders to the several County Clerks to make me proper Returns of the Taxables distinguishing the Whites from the Blacks, which is the only Method I can take to answer the above Query—I have also required the same from the Southern and Northern Treasurers, who ought to make it a Charge upon the several Sheriffs to pay in the Taxes, but they will not comply with my Orders; when I can get a proper Return I shall send it, in the mean Time I shall make the best Return I can.
The Southern Treasurer has made me a Return the best he can procure for the year 1761 for the 14 Counties within his Collection, 4 of which he has taken from the year 1759, these years last being not returned, and one County only by the Report of the Members, by which it appears that the whole Taxables which are Males from 16 to 60 amount to 7473. The Blacks Male and female who are taxed from 13 Years and upwards amount to 6535, and the total Taxable 16038.
The Northern Treasurer has never returned a List of Taxables nor made any Charge against himself whereby he can be called to account, but as he collects from the 12 Northern Counties, wch. are much more populous than the Southern Counties, the Numbers especially the whites are much greater, and I find by a former Return made me by the County Clerks tho' not correctly taken By the Justices, that they then amounted to 15294 whites and Blacks, and as they have increased considerably the Number now must exceed 34000 Taxables, and of these the ^black^
Male Taxables Male and Female don't amount to 12000, so that at the lowest Computation the whole Taxable Males from 16 upwards amount to near 22000 & consequently the whole Number of Souls near to 4 times that Number.
Quere 10. Are the Inhabitants increased or decreased within these 10 years how much, and for what reason?
Answer. They are increased considerably by Births not by any Influx or Importation of People for these 7 Years past before that Time great Numbers removed and settled here from the Jersies and Pensylvania, but a total Stop was put to it by the Indian War to the Northward, and of late here by the Cherokee War. The Taxables when I came over in 1754 were computed at about 26000, and now are computed at 34000.
Quere 11. What is the Number of the Militia, under what Authority and Regulations is it established; what is the Expence of it, & how is the Expence defrayed?
Answer. The computed Number by the Return of the several Colonels amount to about 16000. There is a Regiment appointed for each County, which consists of more or fewer Companies and of greater or fewer Numbers according to the Extent of the County & Number of Inhabitants: the Officers are nominated and commissioned by the Crown. There is no fund to pay them or furnish them wth. arms Accoutrements and Ammunition, only the fines levied upon them for not attending at the general Muster twice a Year, the Law for raising and supporting them expired some time ago, and was renewed only for one Year and to the End of the next Session of Assembly; if they marched out of their own Counties upon any Invasion or Insurrection a large pay was allowed them by Law, but no fund appointed or raised to pay them.
Quere 12. What Forts and Places of Defence are there within your Government, in what Condition, and what Garrisons are kept therein? What is the annual Expence of maintaining each fort, and out of what fund is it paid?
Answer. There is one square fort with 4 Bastions with a deep Ditch and pallisaded Counterscarp and a large lower Battery upon the Counterscarp next the River which commands the Channel at the Entrance of Cape Fear River, which lies close by the fort called Fort Johnston, the Rampart of which is now finished wth. the greatest part of the parapet made of what they call Tabby work composed of Lime Sand and Shells which makes a strong Cement, there being no Stone but some Shelly Limestone within 100 Miles of the Sea Coast.
This Fort will be completed in a few Months with Barracks & a Magazine upon which 30 Guns 18 and 9 Pounders are to be mounted, most of which are already mounted besides Swivels sent over by His late Majesty with Ordnance Stores in Proportion. There are also two Forts or rather Batteries erected one at Portsmouth near Ocacock Bar and another at Port Beaufort upon old Topsail Inlet with Barracks, but there are no Guns to mount upon them but old Ship Guns carried from Fort Johnston to Fort Granville near Ocacock. There is also a small stockaded Fort built near the Catauba River to defend the Western Settlements from the Cherokee Indians.
There was a Company of 100 Men allowed for one Year to garrison Fort Johnston and Fort Granville by the Assembly, and a Company of 50 Men was allowed for the Stockaded Fort on the frontier and for the 2 last Years a Company of 50 Men was allowed for the stockaded fort and Fort Johnston, of which 30 were at the Western fort and 20 at Fort Johnston on Cape Fear River, as the Cherokee war is over, and the Assembly dissolved themselves refusing to meet and sit pursuant to Proclamation and His Majesty's Instructions, the Regiment and also the Company are disbanded, and I have only ordered ten Men with a Gunner to be kept at Fort Johnston to take Care of the Stores.
The Fund allowed hitherto to maintain the Troops was raised by a poll Tax upon Taxables to sink the paper Bills which were issued to pay the Troops and other Contingencies of Government, and 6d. ⅌. Galln. upon Spirituous Liquors imported, but as the Taxes raised by the poll Tax have not answered to pay off the Notes issued, the Notes now issued amount to near £80000 this Currency, and has raised a Discount upon the paper Currency of 66 ⅔ above the par of Exchange, so that £200 Curry. is worth no more than £100 Sterling which is a great Loss upon our Trade to Britain, as we have no Specie nor Staple to pay for British Manufactures and other Commodities—I hope therefore Your Lordships will think it advisable to recommend to His Majesty to establish a Company of 100 Men in this Province to garrison the Forts Johnston and Granville in order to defend the forts and assist the Government and Revenue Officers to prevent an illicit Trade which will undoubtedly increase upon a peace, upon the Assembly here paying for their Provisions as is done in South Carolina; we have the more Reason to hope for this favour as this Province has never put Britain to any Expence except the Ordnance Stores sent by his late Majesty, and sometimes a small Sloop stationed here which seldom kept the Station but wintered in South Carolina.
Quere 13. What is the Number of the Indians inhabiting those parts of America lying within or bounding upon your Province? What Contracts or Treaties of Peace have been made with them and are now in force? What Trade is carried on with them and under what Regulations, and how have these Regulations been established?
Answer. The only Tribes or remains of Tribes of Indians residing in this Province are the Tuskerora Sapona Meherin & Maramuskite Indians. The Tuskeroras have about 100 fighting Men, the Saponas and Meherrin Indians about 20 each, and the Maramuskites about 7 or 8, the first 3 are situated in the Middle of the Colony upon and near Roanoak, and have by Law 10000 Acres of Land allotted to them in Lord Granville's District they live chiefly by hunting and are in perfect friendship with the Inhabitants.
The Catauba Indians who are also in close friendship with the Inhabitants resided upon the Cataubas river near our Western Frontier very near the Boundary Line in 35° No. Latitude proposed to be laid out betwixt this and the South Province; they consisted within these few Years of about 300 fighting Men, but last year the small pox ravaged in their Towns, which made them desert them, and leave all their sick behind them to perish; by an account from their King Haglar to me they are reduced to 60 fighting and about as many old Men and boys and a suitable number of Women, upon which and the Cherokee war they removed farther West upon or near the Boundary Line where they have had a Town laid out for them in South Carolina, but alledge that they are still within this Government—Mr. Glenn wantonly promised them a District of 30 Miles radius round their Towns, which wod. have contained above 1800000 Acres, but now as they are reduced I suppose less than 10000 Acres will content them.
The Cherokee Indians are situated among and beyond the Mountains to the Westward of our present Settlements, their upper Towns beyond the Mountains are within the parallels of this Province, the middle and lower Towns West of the South Carolina Frontier. They were late^ly^ esteemed to be a powerful Tribe, & to consist of above 3000 fighting Men, they are now upon Account of the War Sickness and famine supposed to be reduced to about 2000.
The Shawanese upon the Ohio to the Westward of the Virginia frontier is the next most considerable Nation to the Northward of this Province, and the Chickesaws near the Mississippi to the Southward of the Tenasee and Cherokee river who consist of about 400 fighting Men are the most warlike Tribe and always firm friends to the English. To the Southward of these are the upper & lower Creeks about 3000 fighting Men on the Western frontier of South Carolina and Georgia and beyond them the Choctaws.
There have been no Treaties made between this Province and any Nation of Indians except a late Treaty made betwixt the Virginians and Cherokees in 1755 by Mr. Randolph and Colo. Byrd who were joined by a Commissioner from this Province Colo. Waddell—There has been a small Trade carried on by a few Indian Traders from this Province with the Cataubas and Cherokees for furs and peltry, but no Regulations by Law ever made in this Province?
Quere 14. What is the Strength of your neighbouring Europeans French or Spaniards, and what Effect have these Settlements upon His Majesty's Colonies and more particularly upon that under your Government?
Answer. There are no French or Spanish Settlements near this Province, the nearest at present is a Stockaded fort called l'Assumption lately erected seated upon the Tenasee or Cherokee river, which falls into the Ohio above it's Entrance into the Mississippi, which is a great Check to the Chickesaws our most valuable Indian Allies, and has had a great Influence upon the Cherokees in spiriting them up and supplying them wth. Ammunition to make war upon this and the neighbouring Colonies. The French have another upon the Ouaback called by them the River of St. Jerom, which falls into the North Side of the Ohio before it enters into the Mississippi, by which they had a Communication with Le Detroit between the Lakes Huron and Erie from Louisiana, but as I apprehend it belonged to the Government of Canada it has or ought to have been given up by the Capitulation and Evacuation of Canada. I believe the French had not above 100 Men in either of these forts. The other Forts which affect the Southern Provinces belonging to the French are the Albama fort situated upon a branch of the Mobile, and another called fort Tombecbee higher up upon Mobile River to confine and distress the Chickesaws our Allies, and to awe the Choctaws & influence the Creek Indians; these are also stockaded forts and have not above 100 Men in each fort.
The only Spanish Fort which affects our Colony of Georgia is St. Augustine the Garrison of which is about 300 Men, which I apprehend is maintained by the Pope; these are at constant war wth. the adjoining Indians and do not extend their plantations, and in time of Peace an Advantagious trade is carried on through them wth. the Havanna; their Forts of St. Rosa and Pensacola on the Florida Coast in the Bay of Mexico are no Detriment to our Colonies but a Confinement to the French at Mobile.
The grand Settlements of the French upon the Mississippi and Mobile are the only places dangerous to our Colonies, as they will always spirit up the Creeks Choctaws and Cherokees to molest our Southern Colonies on this Continent and embroil us with the Indians.
Quere 15. What is the Revenue arising within your Government, when was it established, and by what Laws or other Authority? To what Service is It appropriated, how applied and disposed of, and in what Manner are the Accounts audited and past?
Answer. The only standing Revenue in this Province belonging to the Crown are the Quit Rents and what may arise from fines & forfeitures, for the publick Revenue raised by the Assembly is temporary and trifling except what has been raised upon Account of the present war.
The Quit Rents which I apprehend to be His Majesty's private Estate is entirely in His Majesty's Power, and he has been graciously pleased to appropriate part of it to pay the several Officers he has appointed upon His Establishment and Exchequer Court when held here to the amount of £455 Sterlg. ⅌. Annum.
By a partial Rental returned by the Auditor collected from the Books taken by the Secretary in the Court of Claims (the Auditor to this day having never kept a Register of the Patents granted by the Crown which ought to have been entered in a Book in his Office) the present annual Rental wod. amount to near £3000 Sterlg. ⅌. ann. if duely collected, but the Receivers Genl. have been so negligent in their Collection under pretence of their not having a compleat Rental, having never kept a regular Account of the Receipts and Arrears due to be a Charge against him that a very small part of them can be collected, and the Auditor for want of a regular Arrear can have no Check upon the Receiver, and therefore can't audit a regular account, so that all the Accounts have been slabbered over and never regularly audited, occasioned by appointing Receivers who are not qualified or negligent in making Receipts or in keeping their Accounts; so that all the Accounts are passed by the Auditor upon the Oath of the Receiver without any Arrear returned, so that most of the Arrears are lost or sunk in the Receivers Pocket, there being no Check upon him, by these means tho many thousand Pounds remain in Arrear, a great Debt is returned due to the late Governor and the several Officers upon the Establishment; and many of the Lands are not to be found and so rent and Arrears are lost.
In the same Manner have His Majesty's Attorneys acted who are above their Business and generally employ Deputies not properly qualified, so that few fines or forfeitures are ever received as may appear by the Receivers Accounts.
The other Bra^n^ches of the publick Revenue granted by the General Assembly consist chiefly of a poll tax upon white & black Taxables, and a small Duty upon spirituous Liquor imported of 4d. ⅌. Galln. and a further Duty of 2d. ⅌ Galln. was added wch. expires in 1762 and a powder Duty which also soon expires.
The poll Tax in one Year amounted to 12/1 ^in 1758^ in the year 1760 it amounted to 16/4 ⅌. taxable, in 1761 to 4/11 in 1762 to 4/2 and a poll tax of 1/6 for Contingencies expires also in 1762.
These several Taxes during their Continuance are appropriated to sink the paper Currency or to repay those which were issued and if His Majesty approved of their being reissued were appropriated to purchase Glebes, build publick Schools, or to pay the Assistant Justices and Attorney General.
The Assembly have usurped the power of passing & auditing the publick Accounts of the several Sums raised by the Acts of the general Assembly—They receive the Accounts from the Treasurers and pretend to keep all the Vouchers, which the Assembly pass or reject at their pleasure, I may say exclusive of the Council, which they do by the Majority of the voices of a joint Committee from the two houses which generally consists of
the two Members of the Council and 6 or 8 of the lower House in two separate Committees of Claims & Accounts and tho' the Members of the Council shod. dissent, they are outvoted and the Report is made by the Majority and agreed to by the Assembly which they expect the Governor and Council shou'd acquiesce in and allow of their Accounts and Claims tho carried iniquitously by the Influence of the Treasurers and Junto of their friends who generally rule the House, the Treasurers being appointed by them being Members of their house, and thus they pass their Accounts without proper Vouchers, even without the Councils Consent which they expect the Governor shou'd approve, nor will they let the Auditor audit them or keep the Vouchers, and such Vouchers as they think proper to produce are lodged with their Committee Clerks who are often changed, and when enquired after are lost or Mislaid, and no Register made of them, and as these Register Treasurers get themselves fixt in a temporary Aid Bill which was passed in 1754 and the Tax to be raised expires in June 1763, they think as they were fixed without any Limitation of Time that they are in for Life and can't be suspended or removed by the Governor during the Act, nor even when the Aid expires without that Clause be repealed, and from that Act they have presumed to make Payments without the Governor's warrant, nay after he has refused it, and yet have paid Money upon the Speakers letter—I therefore hope your Lordships will look into this and advise his Majesty to repeal this Clause if you think it still binding after the Expiration of the Aid at June 1763, and to come to some Resolution whether this Manner of accounting without having them passed before the Govr. & Council and audited by the Auditor and the Vouchers properly registered in his Office, shall be allowed of for the future, and also whether His Majesty shall for the future nominate and Commission the Treasurer or Treasurers, or allow them to be chosen by the Assembly & appointed by a Law, and if that be allowed whether it be proper that any Treasurer shod. be a Member of the lower House.
Quere 16. What are the Establishments Civil and Military within your Government, by what Authority do the several Officers hold their places, what are the Names of the present Officers, when were they appointed, and what is their reputed annual Value, what Salaries and Fees have they, by what Authority are their Salaries and fees paid, and under what Regulations?
Answer. The Civil Establishment consists of a Governor and 12 Councillors a Secretary and Clerk of the Crown, a Chief Justice, a Baron, Auditor and Attorney General, a Surveyor General, three Assistant Justices, 2 Treasurers, 4 Collectors, a Naval Officer, a Judge of the Admiralty an Advocate, Justices of the peace, Sherrifs and Coroners, Mayors and Recorders of Corporations.
The Names of the Civil Officers on the Establishment are Richd. Spaight Secretary and Clerk of the Crown appointed by the Govr. in Novr. 1755 in room of Henry McCulloh decd., Mr. Berry Chief Justice appointed by Warrant from the Crown in 1759 in place of Mr. Henley deceased, Mr. Hasell Baron appointed by the Governor in 1760 upon Mr. Rieusset's Resignation, the Honourable and Reverend Mr. Cholmondely is Auditor by Patent in Reversion from the Crown upon the Death of Lord Walpole, Robert Jones Attorney General upon Mr. Child's Resignation by Warrant from the Crown in April 1761, Mr. Rutherford Receiver General restored by the Lords of the Treasury (after having been suspended) in 1759, who is just returned and sworn in, but has given no Security, nor has yet produced a new Commission or Warrant, Mr. McGwire Judge of the Admiralty appointed by the Governor in place of Mr. Ross decd. in 1760, Mr. Marm. Jones Mr. Charlton and Mr. Dewy appointed by the Govr. Assistant Justices in pursuance of an Act of Assembly passed in May 1760 to erect 5 Superior Courts, which is to expire in 2 Years from the Date if not confirmed by the Crown, John Starkey and Thos. Barker Treasurers of the Southern and Northern Districts by the Aid Acts in Decr. 1754, the funds granted expiring in June 1763, Mr. Palmer Surveyor General appointed by Warrant from the Crown in 1753, as also Collector of Port Bath, Mr. Dry Collector of Port Brunswick, Mr. Rieusset Collector of Port Roanoak, Mr. Whitehall Collector of Currituck, and Mr. McCulloh Collector of Port Beaufort; these are all appointed by the Lords of the Treasury or Commissioners of the Customs in England, and Salaries paid from thence Mr. Turner Naval Officer appointed by Warrant from the Crown in 1759—Robert Jones Judge Advocate by the Crown. The Officers upon the Establishment paid out of His Majesty's Quit Rents are the Auditor £100 ⅌. Ann., Chief Justice 70, Baron 40, Survr. General 40, Secretary 70, as Clerk of the Crown 25, Attorney General £50 the Receiver General has no Salary, but is allowed 10 ⅌. Cent out of his Receipt, and 5 ⅌. Cent to the several Sherrifs who receive under him in His Majesty's District. He is also allowed the usual distraining fees—The 3 Assistant Justices are £400 this Currency ⅌. Ann. out of the publick Revenue, and the Attorney General [intentionally blank] ⅌. Annu. by the same Act, what the Attorneys fees and Perquisites are is only known to himself, the Chief Justices fees are computed at £120, the Assistant Judges have none; the Governors and his Secretaries fees are Paid at a low rate in the fee Bill in the printed Book of Laws to which I refer, nor is there any fee paid for the Great Seal, nor for any Commissions but of Profit and the Chancery fees are shameful that no Person of Character will act for them, and being paid in paper Currency at 100 ⅌. Cent less than the Value of Sterling Money the Officers are deprived of half their fees; that Act passed by the late Governor in prejudice to the Officers on the Establishment being an Encroachment upon the prerogative of the Crown without a suspending Clause cannot be justified, all the other fees and Salaries which are not paid out of the Quit Rents are paid by that and other Acts of Assembly.
The Secretaries place including fees and Perquisites was computed at £600 ⅌. an. this Currency or 300 Sterling, but by the Appointment of the Office of Clerk of the pleas by Lord Hallifax's Letter, the County Clerks before having been appointed by the Secretary; the Value of the Secretary's place is lessen'd one half. The Baron has no fees or Perquisites as there are no Exchequer Courts. The Auditors Secretaries & Surveyors fees are fixed in the fee Bill. The Naval Officer's place is computed at £300 per an. this Currency, of which the several Deputies have generally one third. The Members of the Council have neither fees Salaries nor Perquisites except 7/6 ⅌ diem when they attend the Session of Assembly tho' they sit as Judges in Chancery, and being disposed over the whole province it is difficult to get 5 together to hold a Court of Chancery or Claims, or even an upper house during a Session of Assembly under pretence of Sickness or other Avocations, and in Case a Council is called upon any Emergency after sending Expresses for them can scarcely on a fortnight's time get above 5 together.
There has been no Military Establishment except the Militia, only such forces as have been raised upon Accot. of the American war, since which time we have had 3 or 4 Companies of Provincial Troops in pay and one Regiment of 5 Companies of 100 Men each raised for 7 Months from the 1st. of May 1761 upon account of the Cherokee war which being now over the Regiment was disbanded of Course the 1st. of this instant December, and as the Assembly which was appointed to meet to know if it was necessary to keep any troops on foot did not think proper to meet or sit upon a quorum of 15 pursuant to His Majesty's Instruction and tho' 32 Members met at the place, they Wou'd not so much ^as meet^ and adjourn, insisting upon their Right by Charter that their quorum was a Majority of the whole Assembly; after several short Prorogations to bring them to temper, after 19 days I let them dissolve themselves, so that we have no Provincials in pay, but an undisciplined half armed Militia, until we have the Sense of a new Assembly for which the Writs are issued.
Quere 17. What is the Constitution of the Government in general and particularly what Courts are there established for the Administration of Justice, when were these Courts established and under what Authority; what are their Rules of Proceeding and how are their Judges and subordinate Officers appointed?
Answer. The Constitution was originally formed by a Charter wch. was surrendered up to the Crown in 1728—It now consists of a Governor and Council or upper house Commissioned by His Majesty and a lower House of Assembly elected by the Freeholders of the several Counties and by the Freemen and Freeholders of the several Incorporated Towns and Burroughs or by the Bath Law still in force of such Towns which contain 60 families—these with the Governor and Council make up the general Assembly, and pass all the Laws which bind this Province except such British Laws now in force & others since made which mention this Province which Laws made here are in force if not contradictory to the British Laws—until repealed by His Majesty in Council in Great Britain.
The only Courts at present established in this Province are five Superior Courts of Pleas in five different Districts held by the Chief and three Assistant Justices twice a Year. A Court of Chancery held by the Governor and 5 at least of the Council a Court of Oyer & Terminer when necessary, a Court of Admiralty, a County Court Sessions held quarterly which can try petty Causes and Debts not exceeding £50 this Currency with Appeals to the Superior Courts, and Appeals for Suits above £300 Sterl. to the Governor and Council with a further Appeal of above £500 to His Majesty in Council in Great Britain.
No Exchequer Court has yet been held, nor is it safe to attempt it without express orders from England for fear of a general Outcry and Opposition to it, the Government having no force to support their Authority; the Superior and County Courts are held by virtue of an Act of the General Assembly passed in May 1760; and
are ^the Superior Court is^ to continue 2 years and no longer from the Time they were passed, unless confirmed by His Majesty: it was made temporary upon Account of some Clauses inserted in it which were contrary to His Majesty's Instructions, and an Encroachment upon his Prerogative, it being necessary to pass such a Bill upon the Repeal of the Supreme Court by His Majesty in Council, otherwise we should have had no Courts of Justice but those of the County Court Sessions, and I was obliged to pass the County Court Law for a greater Sum than in the former Bill, lest the other Bill shod. not have passed at all, and the Province shou'd have been for some time without any Courts of Law.
The Rules of Proceeding are by the Common Law & Statute Law in England which include the Colonies, and by the Laws passed in this Province until repealed by His Majesty in Council.
The Judges and Inferior Officers are all appointed by the Crown.
Answer to the Board's general Heads of Enquiry concerning the present state of No. Carolina.
Read May. 28 1762.