Skip to main content

My Lord,

I delay'd writing to your Lordship to return my sincere Acknowledgments and Thanks for all your Favours, until I cou'd properly inform your Lordships of the Transactions of the General Assembly from their meeting to this time. I shall not trouble your Lordship with the Speech, and Addresses to me, as you will have them from the Board of Trade, and the subsequent Address to his Majesty, which I have inclosed to Sr. Wm. Robinson as Secretary of State to be laid before His Majesty, as your Lordship being in the Cabinet will see the Original At their meeting the Northern Members upon being restored to their Privileges, wanted to shew that they were also restored to their power in the Assembly, and tried their Strength upon the Choice of a Speaker, 52, out of 60 return'd, appear'd the second Day, I having been obliged to prorogue the house one Day, the House being thin that I might not give any Advantage, or appear partial to either side, and upon a Division the Numbers were equal, for Capt. John Campbell and Mr. Saml. Swann late Speaker, but as some more members were expected that Evening, and as the Clerk who put the Question had no vote, I thought, as they sent to me for Advice in it, it was better to let them continue sitting without a further Prorogation, until some member arrived, Mr. Swann expecting no more that Day, the members from Anson not being arrived, and those wanting from Currituck being expected, he offerd to give up his Claim, but his friends wou'd not consent at first; but afterwards consented, and then Mr. Campbell carried the Chair, and next Day I approved of him, which gave me pleasure as I was personally acquainted with him, and knew his Character altho’ Mr. Swann had also a very good Character; However both parties assured me That the Division shou'd go no further, but they shou'd unite to do the publick Busyness, and act for the Good of the Province, which they have accordingly since done, and I believe there having been so near an Equality will also contribute to their being united, for the future, in acting for the publick Good of the province.

They have since granted £8000 for the Assistance of Virginia And Security of the Frontier; which considering the Sum granted last year which had been so misjudged, & applied to no purpose, and there being no Cash in the Country, & no Taxes rais'd upon Account of their Divisions, is as much as they cou'd spare at this time, which is design'd to raise and pay 100 Men in an independent Company at 8d. p. Diem with provisions & Cloathing for 2 years, I hoped to have had 200 for one year, but it was not carried upon a Division, 50 more being appointed to guard our Frontier; which I hope we shall raise, altho’ the having given three shillings last year, will be a great Clog to it. To make that Supply effectual, they have no way to raise it immediately, but by a paper Currency, and think of issuing 6000 in the Bills already struck appropriated for publick Schools, and 2000 out of the Money raised for publick Buildings, which can be replaced again if necessary by the poll Tax to be raised to sink the Bills, but the Quantum of the poll Tax and the years for sinking it is now under Consideration in the Council, who by an Amendment will endeavour to have a greater Poll Tax; or to apply the Sum in two Companies for one year, or in one for two years, as I shall hereafter order it in Concert with Virginia.

I propose early in the Spring to go up this River Neuse to look out a more Central & proper place for the Seat of Government, where it will be more healthy, as the Town is by no Means convenient or proper for the Capital, the Inconveniency of passing so many broad Ferrys being very great, which will then be avoided, and we may still have a Navigation for small Craft as high as the Capital, which will be in a richer soil, the Lands near this being very poor and sandy, which raises the price of provisions and firing here very high, the Capital then if approv'd of, will be very near your Lordship's Line, and all the Northern Counties wou'd approve of it, as well as the Western Counties, & those about Cape Fear say it wou'd also be more convenient for them.

In Case his Majesty is pleased to place an independent Company upon the Establishment for this province, which will be found greatly for his Service, in raising the Quit Rents upon the Resurveys, I wou'd fain hope for his Majesty's favour to give it to my Son, who has been Lieutt. in his Service these 8 years, and is very well liked by his superior Officers, who being here upon the Spot, by License, might raise the Company here without the Expence of bringing them from England, and it wou'd greatly add to the Obligations I am under, if your Lordship wou'd join in the Recommendation to his Majesty; I shall endeavour always to promote your Lordship's Interest here; and to shew equal favour to your Lordship's Tenants as to those of the Crown.

There are several good Bills before the House, but as some may be clog'd with improper Clauses, as many of the Members are obstinate, I shall only pass those I don't entirely approve of, with suspending Clauses, such as the Quit Rent Law, in which they have put again Tobacco & Indigo, unless they make the price so low, as to make them a full Value with Bullion or the Currency, and also pass the General Inspection Law they have now before them, which will keep up the price.

I am with the greatest Respect

My Lord

your Lordships most obedient and

most humble Servant.

Arthur Dobbs

No. Carolina
New Bern 3d. January 1755.
Govr. Dobbs.
Rd. 7th. July.