The Line or Boundary which was necessary to be determined betwixt the Colonies of North and South Carolina having not been fixed by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina before they sold their Rights to the Crown, it was thought proper to give Instructions to the first Governors appointed by his Majesty to fix upon a proper Line or Boundary to divide and distinguish the Limits and Extent of each Colony, accordingly the Lords Commissioners of Trade sent over Instructions for that Purpose, but being at that time entire Strangers to the Geography of Carolina by having only erroneous Charts of the Countrey, and there being few or no Settlers in the Southern part of North Carolina, and the Proprietors Governor of No. Carolina knowing very little of the Maritime part of the Province to the Southward of Neuse River, and nothing at all of the Courses of the Rivers, or of the Countrey to the Westward at any Distance from the Sea Coast. The Lords Commissioners of Trade were then obliged to have their Information chiefly from Mr. Johnston the Governor of North Carolina, and to give Instructions according to the Account he thought proper to give them, which was calculated to extend the Limits of the Province of So. Carolina; in pursuance to his Information they were pleased to give Instructions that the Line shou'd be carried from the Entrance of Waggamaw River into the Winyaw up that River until it comes within 30 Miles of the No. West Branch of Cape Fear River, and in Case the head of Waggamaw River came within 30 Miles of Cape Fear River, then to proceed to the Distance of 30 Miles up the North West Branch of Cape Fear River, and so to the fountain head of that River.
This Instruction after it came to be known to the Governor and Council of No. Carolina, they represented against so unequitable and improper a Limit, which wou'd cut the Province off from all the Lands to Westward of that River, which according to the Charter was to go in a West Line to the South Sea, but this went so close to the Virginia Boundary, that this Northern Province would shave been entirely hemm'd in by Virginia and South Carolina, upon this true Representation of the Case the Lords of Trade withdrew their Instructions, and ordered that each of the Provinces shou'd appoint Commissioners to run out a proper Line, and when that was fixed to send it over to them to have his Majestie's Approbation.
This was the Instruction given to Mr. Johnston the late Governor of North Carolina, when he was appointed in 1734, accordingly in April 1735 the Governor of So. Carolina appointed 3 Commissioners under their Great Seal to agree with the Governor and Council of No. Carolina or such Commissioners as they shou'd appoint under their Great Seal in Case they shou'd agree about the Line, accordingly 3 Commissioners were appointed to agree with them about the proper Boundary betwixt the two Colonies.
They met pursuant to their Commission and according to the Situation of the Colonies at that time they agreed that a due West Line shou'd, be carried from Cape Fear along the Sea Coast for 30 Miles, and from thence proceed No. West to 35° N. Latitude and if the Line touched Pedee River before they arrived at 35°, then they were to make a Sett off at 5 Miles Distance from Pedee and proceed up the River until they arrived at that Latitude, and from thence they were to proceed due West until they went to the Catauba Town, but if the Town shou'd be to the Northward of the Line, they were then to make a sett off around the Town, so as to have it in the So. Government. This Agreement under hand and Seal was lodged in the Secretary's Office of each Province.
The Commissioners began to run the Line the first of May 1735, and proceeded 30 Miles West from Cape Fear, which fell within 10 Poles of Little River where it enters the Sea, and then went Northwest 7 Miles to the place where it crossed the Countrey Road, and set up poles there fore the Meaning of the two provinces, and then separated agreeing under hand and Seal to meet again on the 18th of September, and if either Party failed incoming, the other was to continue the Line, which was to be binding upon both.
The Northern Commissioners attended accordingly, but the Southern Commissioners not coming until October, they proceeded No. West for about 70 Miles, and when the Southern Commissioners arrived they followed upon the Line 40 Miles and finding the work right done so far, they sent a Draught of what they had done to the Lords Commissioners of Trade, and nothing more has since been done in it, nor any Approbation of it from his Majesty; for as the Commissioners had been paid nothing for their Trouble or Expense, they wou'd proceed no further. However a Deputy Surveyor took the Latitude of Pedee at 35°, and set up a Mark, which since that time has been deemed to be the Limit at that Place.
Since that time there have been frequent Quarrels to the Westward of Pedee, and several have been killed or wounded upon executing Warrants. Grants of Land have been made out by the Governor of So. Carolina No. of 35° without Surveys, which being opposed by the Northern Government, Squabbles have ensued; They have also sent over Summons to Oblige the Settlers on the North Side of the Line to serve in the Militia, and to appear at their Musters, and a kind of Sanctuary allowed to Criminals and Vagabonds, by their pretending as it serves their purpose that they belong to either Province, so that there is a Necessity to fix a Line or Boundary immediately to determine a proper or equitable Boundary without Regard to what has been hitherto done, as nothing has been finished here, or approved of by his Majesty in Council.
I must therefore beg leave to observe the great Inconveniency and Expence attending the laying out Boundaries in a right Line, where natural Boundaries by Rivers can conveniently be had, the Commissioners in one Case being obliged often to cut thro' almost impenetrable Thickets or Swamps, at great Expense as well of time as Labour, and since the Situation of Affairs in the two Provinces has been greatly altered after the former Instructions were given, the present Line shou'd be altered for his Majestie's Service and the greater Conveniencies of both Colonies.
Since the time of the first Instructions Georgia has been separated from Carolina, and given to private Proprietors, and has lately again been by them restored to the Crown whilst it was in the Proprietors hands the Boundary betwixt that Colony and South Carolina was fixed by a natural Boundary the River Savanna from the Sea to it's Source in the Mountains, which being in about 35° Lat. the Limit since fixed for North Carolina, South Carolina wou'd have then been quite cut off from the Country to the Westward of that River, and occasioned their pushing to have their Northern Line extended further North into North Carolina along the North West Branch of Cape Fear River, But as at present his Majesty has recovered the Province of Georgia, his Majesty has the power and right to alter the Line betwixt North Carolina and Georgia, by making an equitable Mearing and extending the Province of South Carolina Westward beyond the Savanna from a determined Latitude to be fixed at some Distance from the Sea betwixt the two Colonies, as there are no settlers yet fixed in that part of the Country.
I must also beg leave further to observe that since the Mearing Line has been run from little River towards Pedee there has been a great Alteration in the Province of North Carolina, which will make it more equitable to enlarge the Limits of this Province more to the Southward, occasioned by his Majesties having agreed to give Lord Granville's undivided Eighth of Carolina and Georgia entirely out of the Province of North Carolina along the Virginia Line, by which Means the Quit Rents of No. Carolina for the Length of 56 of Latitude are vested in Lord Granville, and only 34' of Lat. left in the Crown, in Case North Carolina extends no further South than 35°, for the little Skirt thrown into North Carolina near Cape Fear to the Southward of 35° is a barren Sand near the Sea Coast of very little Value, and consequently no likely to be settled, or to pay Quit Rents; and since Lord Granville had an equal Right to have chosen part of his Lands out of South Carolina and Georgia, it makes it therefore reasonable to alter the Boundary and encrease his Majestie's Quit Rents in No. Carolina.
By the last Charter of Carolina it's Bounds were fixed betwixt 29° and 36°, 30' No. Lat. and betwixt these Parallells to the So. Sea.Carolina after Georgia was separated from it extended from the Mouth of Savannah River in 32° to the Virginia Line in 36°, 30' being 4°, 30' from North to South, which at 69 Miles to a Degree is above 310 English Miles, if the Division Line had then been fixed at 35° betwixt the Carolinas, then South Carolina wou'd have had three Degrees of Latitude from 32° to 35° about 207 Miles and No Carolina only one Degree and half about 103 Miles, of which Lord Granville having got 56' about 64 Miles there remains no more than 34' or 39 Miles which pay Quit Rent to the Crown in No. Carolina, except the small Slip along the Sea Coast above mentioned.
Since then his Majesty might have taken a proportional Share from South Carolina and Georgia of the Quit Rents to be given to Lord Granville, which wou'd have been about 40' of a Degree, it wou'd seem equitable to take so much from South Carolina to add to North Carolina and fix the Line at 34°, 20' betwixt the 2 Provinces in a West Line from Pedee to the Mountains and a proportional Quantity may be taken from Georgia West of Savanna which is not yet settled and be given to So. Carolina at a certain Distance from the Sea, and there wou'd still above two Degrees of Latitude belong to Georgia from the Lat. of 30° at Attalamaha to the Northward of 32° higher upon the Savanna.
But since a natural Boundary of a River is much more convenient where it can be had at least some Distance from the Sea, and is fixed without any Expense so far; I therefore think it wou'd be of singular Benefit to No. Carolina, and of no real Disadvantage to So. Carolina, upon their having an equivalent beyond Savanna, that the Winyaw and Pedee shou'd be the Boundary from the Sea to 34°, 20' for at present they have no Advantage on the Sea Coast from Winyaw to little River, in which is no Creek or Safety; But the Inconveniency of not having the East Side of the Winyaw and Pedee within the Northern Province is very great to No. Carolina for as there is a very large and fruitful Country upon the several Branches of Pedee within the Northern Province, who have no Conveniency of carrying their heavy Goods, but in floats down to Winyaw, if part of the East Side of that River be left in the Southern Province they may at pleasure prohibit or tax any Goods coming into their Province, but if the River to the Sea is made their Boudnary, then they can build Towns and Wharfs on the East Side in the Northern Province, so that it wou'd be more advantageous to this Province to give up part of the Latitude and fix it at 34°, 30' instead of 34°, 20' than not have the free Navigation of the Pedee.
This I take to be a fair State of the Case of the Boundary betwixt these two Boundaries at present. And the Line need be carried no further than to the Cherokee Mountains, the Catauba Indians wou'd be then entirely within the Northern Province, and we cou'd then by an Agreement with them lay out for their Conveniency or sufficient Tract of Land about their Town, at present the Town lies upon the Line, and Governor Glenn has taken upon him as I am well informed to give the Cataubas 30 Miles extent around their Town, half out of the Northern Province, in order to create an Enmity betwixt the Cataubas and this Colony, alledging that the Cataubas and Cherokees are subject to his and to no other Province, and that no other Colony has a right to trade or any way interfere with them.
After the Boundary Line shall be fixed by his Majesty at a determined Latitude, I am of Opinion that it may be ascertained at a very inconsiderable Expense, which has hitherto been done in other places at a very extraordinary Expense, by cutting their Way through almost impenetrable Thickets and Swamps, for as there are many Branches of Rivers which cross the Paralel at small Distances from each other not above 10 or 15 Miles, the Latitude may be fixed at each Branch which Crosses the Mearings and sufficient Marks set up, and the Distance betwixt each Branch may be ascertained whenever any Surveys made or patents granted for the Lands upon the Line at the Expense of the Planter who gets the Patent as in other Cases, and thus as the Lands are granted the Line will be ascertained without further Expense.
After the several Limits are fixed between the Colonies as far as the Mountains, I humbly submit it to his Majestie's Consideration if approved of by your Lordships, whether it wou'd not be of Service to his Majesty, and a Benefit to the several Colonies to alter the Direction of the Line through the passes of the Mountains and from thence to run North Westward towards the Ohio according to the Current of some proper Brook or River running nearest that Course, so as to have a natural Boundary without Expense to the Ohio, for whenever these Countrys beyond the Mountains are settled with a sufficient Number of Planters to make or constitute an Assembly and to defend themselves; His Majesty may probably think it prudent as well as political to have new distinct Governments formed beyond the Mountains, for it will be too far to oblige the Inhabitants to attend the Assemblies near the Sea Coast, and it may be found necessary to have more distrint Governments independent of each other, as soon as they have Numbers sufficient to defend themselves, and make their own Laws, and they wou'd become Barriers to the present Colonies; These may all be made by natural Boundaries as the Rivers run North West from the Mountains to the Ohio, and therefore the Boundaries of Virginia North and So. Carolina beyond the Mountains may run the same way, until they are peopled so as to become distinct Colonies, for if the Lines shou'd be continued due West beyond the Mountains to the Mississippi, Virginia wou'd have a Boundary of vast Extent beyond both the Carolinas, as it wou'd extend from the falls of Niagara where it wou'd join New york behind the Proprietary Colonies to Mississippi, which wou'd be too much for them to protect, or to join their Assembly, and when the New Colonies shou'd be separated, the Mearings wou'd be to settle again, which may be done now at once by directing the Line beyond the Mountains betwixt Virginia and No. Carolina, and betwixt No. Carolina and the South Province to run No. Westward according to any Branch that may be chosen, then the Bounds betwixt Virginia and Carolina might fall into the Ohio above the Chawan's Town, and the Line betwixt the two Carolinas about the Entrance of the Occaback or River St. Jerome into the Ohio, and the Country to Westward of that River to the Southward of the Chickesaws might belong to So. Carolina, and from thence to Mobile or Alibama Fort, and the Spanish Line might be annexed to Georgia, and these several Countrys be protected by the adjoining Colonies until it wou'd be proper to erect them into separate Governments, and in the mean time they shou'd be annexed to the neighbouring Colonies.
The most material Objection that the Government of So. Carolina can make against the Winyaw and Pedee's being made the natural Boundary between the 2 Provinces, is that there are a considerable Number of Taxables scaled betwixt Winyaw Pedee and the Waggamaw which pay their Taxes at present to So. Carolina, who wou'd then pay their Taxes to No. Carolina, which wou'd lessen their Revenue and increase the Tax upon the remaining Inhabitants.
To this may be answered that at present that might be true, but as So. Carolina wou'd have amuch greater Extent of better Land annexed to their Province out of Georgia beyond Savanna River at a Distance from the Sea where the Lands are rich, and at present Settlers who remove from the Northward are now extended as far Southa s the Savanna and are taking up Lands to the Westward of it near the Mountains, rather than settle the hot sands near the Sea Coast, they wou'd very soon have many more Taxables there in the Country to be ceded to them
than they have at present East of Winyaw and Pedee, and as a perpetual Boundary will be fixed to them Westerly, It will soon turn out to their Advantage, But as long as it shou'd appear to be a Disadvantage, the present Inhabitants East of Winyaw may continue to be taxed by So. Carolina, and pay their Taxes there, and when it appears that there are as many Taxables settled beyond Savanna, that then his Majesty may direct the future taxes to be paid to No. Carolina together with the Quit Rents, and in the mean time the Jurisdiction in all other things may be under the Government of No. Carolina, and the Goods coming down Pedee cou'd not be taxed by the So. Government, and Towns wou'd be erected on the East Side of Winyaw.
They may perhaps form another Objection upon account of their having given £5 per head to very white person who came by Sea to settle in that province, but this can be only a trifling Objection, for they have paid a very small Sum to those who have settled East of Winyaw, very few of them having come by Sea, but chiefly by Land from the Northward, who are not entitled to the premium, and the Lands West of Pedee have not been settled until within these few years, and all have come from the Northward by Land, so that it can have no Weight; But when the Southern Government have sent over their plan, how they wou'd the Mearing Line determined with their reasons to support it, then the two plans with the Reasons given by each Province to support their Claim, or to shew which will be most for his Majestie's Service and for the Benefit of both Provinces will come properly before his Majesty in Council, with your Lordship's Observation and Opinion upon them, and whatever his Majesty will think proper, and most for his Service and the Benefit of the 2 Provinces will be decisive, and will determine the Boundary which shall be run out without Loss of time, and each Province will acquiesce in the Determination, by which Means all future Quarrels betwixt No. Carolina and the Catauba Indians who have of late been spirited up by the Governor of So. Carolina to oppose the Planters of No. Carolina in their possessions in their Neighbourhood will be prevented as well as betwixt the Settlers on each Side of the Line, and then no Protection will be given to Criminals or Vagrants, nor will they have any Opportunity to evade the Laws when the Line is determined. But if the determining the Boundary shou'd be left to Commissioners to be appointed by each Colony, they cou'd not be brought to agree upon the Line for some years, perhaps as long as the English and French Commissioners have and may take to fix the Boundaries of their Colonies at Paris, which the French will never agree to in time of peace, and at last if we desire to preserve our Rights, the longest Sword must carry it.
I humbly submit the Boundary proposed with the reasons to support it to your Lordship Consideration, and this Province will chearfully, submit to whatever his Majesty shall determine, but whatever is done I hope will be fixed without Delay; that all the Inconveniences may be avoided, and the Lands near the Line may be settled.