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Quill Pen

Colonial Petition
9 October 1769

Submitted by: Angus Robinson angus@pla-net.net

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"Mr. Speaker and Gen't of the Assembly.

 Humbly Showeth:
   That the Province in General labour under general grievances, and the western part thereof under particular ones; which we not only see, but very sensibly feel, being crouch'd beneath our sufferings and not withstanding our sacred privileges, have too long yielded ourselves slaves to remorseless oppression. - Permit us to conceive it to be our inviolable right to make known our grievances, and to petition for redress as appears in the Bill of Rights pass'd in the reign of King Charles the first, as well as the Act of Settlement of the Crown of the Revolution. We therefore beg leave at the Act of the Settlement of the Crown of the Revolution. We therefore beg leave to lay before you a specimen thereof that your compassionate endeavors may tend to the relief of your injured Constituents, whose distressed condition call aloud for aid. The alarming cries of the oppressed possibly may reach your ears; but without your zeal how they shall ascend the throne - how relentless is the breast without sympathy, the heart that cannot bleed on a view of our calamity; to see tenderness removed, cruelty stepping in; and all our liberties and privileges invaded and abridg'd (by as it were) domestickes; who are conscious of their guilt and void of remorse. - O how darling! How relentless whilst impending Judgements loudly threaten and gaze upon them, with every emblem of merited destruction.
   A few of the many grievances are as follows, (viz't)
   1. That the poor inhabitants in general are much oppress'd by reason of the disproportionate Taxes, and those of the western Counties in particular; as they are geneally in mean circumstances.
   2. That no method is prescribed by law for the payment of the taxes of the Western Counties in produce (in lieu of a currency) as in other Counties within this Province to the Peoples great oppression.
   3. That Lawyers, Clerks, and other petitioners; in place of being obsequious Servants for the Country's use, are become a nuisance, as the business of the people is often transacted without the least degree of fairness, the intention of the law evaded, exorbitant fees extorted, and the sufferers left to mourn under their oppressions.
   4. That an Attorney should have it in his power, either for the sake of ease or interest, or to gratify their malevolence and spite, or commence suits to what courts he pleases, however inconvenient it may be to the Defendants; is a very great oppression.
   5. That all unlawful fees taken in Indictment, where the Defendant is acquited by his Country (however customary it may be) is an oppression.
   6. That Lawyers, Clerks, and others, extorting more fees than is intended by law; is also an oppression.
   7. That the violation of the King's Instructions to his Delegates, their artfulness in concealing the same from him; and the great injury the People thereby sustains: is a manifest oppression.
   ;And for remedy whereof, we take the freedom to recommend the following mode of redress, not doubting audience and acceptance which will not only tend to our relief, but command prayers at a duty from your humble Petitioners.
   ;1. That at all elections each suffrage be given by Ticket & Ballot.
   ;2. That the mode of Taxation be altered, and each person pay in proportion to the proffits arising from his Estate.
   ;3. That no future tax be laid in Money, until a currency is made.
   ;4. That there may be established a Western as well as a Northern and Southern District, and a Treasurer for the same.
   ;5. That when a currency is made it may be let out by a loan office (on land security) and a Treasurer for the same
   ;6. That all debts above 60s (shillings) and under 10 pounds be tried and determined without lawyers, by a jury of six ;freeholders, impaneled by a Justice, and that their verdict be enter'd by the said Justice, and be a final judgement.
   ;7. That the Chief Justice have no perquisites, but a Salary only.
   ;8. That Clerks be restricted in respect to fees, costs, and other things within the course of their office.
   ;9. That Lawyers be effectively Barr'd from exacting and extorting fees.
   ;10. That all doubts may be removed in respect to the payment of fees and costs on Indictments whereas the Defendant is not found guilty by the jury, and therefore acquited.
   11. That the Assembly make known the Remonstrance to the King, the conduct of the cruel and oppressive Receiver of the Quit Rents, for omitting the customary easie and effectual method of collecting by distress, and pursuing the expensive mode of commencing suits in the most distant Courts.
   ;12. That the Assembly in like manner make known that the Governor and Council fo frequently grant lands to as many as they think proper without regard to Head Rights, ;notwithstanding the contrariety of his Majesties instructions, by which means immence sums has been collected, and numerous Patents granted, for much of the most fertile lands in this Province, that is yet uninhabited and cultivated, environed by great numbers of poor people who are necessitated to toil in the cultivation of bad Lands whereon they hardly can subsist, who are thereby deprived of His Majesties liberality and Bounty nor is there the least regard paid to the cultivation clause in said Patent mentioned, as many of the said Council as well as their friends and favorites enjoy large quanitities of Lands under the above-mentioned circumstances.
   ;13. That the Assembly communicates in like manner the Violation of His Majesties Instructions respecting the Land Office by the Governor and Council, and of their own rules, customs and orders. If it be sufficiently proved, that after they had granted Warrants for some Tracts of Land, and that the same was in due time suvey'd and returned and the Patent fees timely paid into the said office; and that if a private Council was called to avoid spectators, and peremptory orders made that Patents should not be granted; and Warrants by their orders arbitrarily to have been issued in the names of other Persons for the same Lands, and if when intreated by a solicitor they refus'd to render so much as a reason for their so doing, or to refund any part of the money paid by them extorted.
   ;14. That some method may be pointed out that every Improvement on Lands in any of the Proprietors part be proved when begun, by whom, and every sale made, that the eldest may have the preference of at least 300 acres.
   ;15. That all taxes in the following Counties be paid as in other Counties in the Province (i.e.) in the produce of the County and that warehouses be erected as follows (viz), In Anson County at Isom Haleys Ferry Landing on PeeDee River, Rowan and Orange at Cambleton in Cumberland County, Mecklenburg at __?___ on the Catawba River, and in Tryon County at __?__ on __?__ River.
   ;16. That every denomination of People may marry according to their respective mode Ceremony and customs after due publication or License.
   ;17. That Doc't Benjamin Franklin or some other known patriot be appointed agent, to represent the unhappy state of this Province to his Majesty, and to solicit the several Boards in England.
   Signed:

John Snor

Jonathan Gowers

Jason Meadow

Isaac Armstrong

Stokey Yeamons

Robert Broadaway

William Thomson

Thomas Harper

Samuel Tonehberg

Auth'd Hutchins

John Johnson

Samuel Flake

Seamor Almond

James Upton

Thomas Balice

 Isaac Falconberg

 Jacob Watson

 John Preslie

Francis Smith

Isham Belvin

John Cartright

John Jeffrey

Owen Slaughter

Thomas Lacy

Neal French

Thomas Wright

John Jackson

Jero Miller

Patrick Sanders

Joseph French

Tiery Robinson

John Ryle

William Newberry

Gabrill Davis

John Culpepper

Leonard Webb

Aquila Jones

John Jones, Sr.

Julius Holley

Thomas Tallant

Wm. Grifen Hogon

John James Junr.

James Denson

Robert Maner

John James Senr

William Raiford

John Watts

Jimmey James

John I. Merree

John Davis

Jonathan Helms

George Wilson

Richard Leak

Tilmon Helms

Robert Webb

Charles Hines

James Sanders

Thomas Taylor

James McIlvanilly

John Bailey

David Smith

Van Swearingen

Samuel Gaylord

James Barker

William Hore

Richard Sands

John Mims

Joseph Martin

Jason Irol Hinsinbru

John Brooks Junr

Thomas Nelson

Thomas Preslar

William C.B.Bond

William Burns

Thomas Culpepper

John Bond

John Leveritt

Daniel Culpepper

Moses M. Tallant

Theofilis Williams

 John Snider

Benjamin Dumas

William Leveritt

William Mims

Joseph White

James Williams

Robert Smith

William Sidden

John Coleman

Zachariah Smith

Silvannus Waker

Meeagar Edwards

John Smith

John Smith (Sandhill)

Anthony Mathis

John Thomas

David Dumas

Fagan Gring

William Burt

Benjamin Smith

Samuel Ratcliff

Edward Smith

William Benton

John Long

Elijah Clark

William Coleman

Charles Smith

John Clark

Alexander McPherson

James Bound (Bond?)

James Adams

E. Pickett

Abraham Pelyou

Thomas Mason Junr

Thomas Gowers

Jason Meadow Junr

John Bennet

Jonathan Turner

Daniel Laws

Thadwick Hogins

Barnabee Skipper

Abraham Bellow

Thomas Barrotz

George Skipper

Thomas Donnor

James E. Arnet

John Jenkins

Joseph Hindes

Thomas Trull

David Phelps

William Haley

William Culpepper

John McNish

Thomas Moorman

John Cooper

John Cockerham

Francis Clark

John Thomas Suggs

Jonathan Lewellyn

Jeremiah Terrell

John Hornbeck

Leonard Franklyn

Darass Burns

William Dinkins

Edward Almond

Thomas Baley

Thomas Dinkins

Thomas Mims

Stephen Bush

Marverick Layn

John Stinkberry

Jacob Cockerham

Waterman Boatman

William Leaton

John Flowel

John Simmons

Luke Robinson

Stephen Jackson

Augustine Prestwood

John Webb

John Jones

Richard Downs

Andrew Griffin

Archelam Moorman

Samuel Ratcliff Junr

George Estress

William Digge

Elisha Ratcliff

James Griffin

Bennakia Moorman

John Poston

William Estress

William Haley Junr

John Poston senr

Stephen Bush

John Mathews

Ned Mathes

Joseph Burcham

James Mathews

Benjamin Bunt

Stephen Piecock

Joseph Webb

Christopher Christian

David Jernigan

John Falconbery

Jowl Jormal

Robert Jarman

Andrew Falconbery

Yomond Lloyd

William Thredgill

Isaac Falconbert Junr

Thomas Lucas

Robert Lowery

Henry Falconbery

William Lucas

Denes Norlen

David Cox

Christopher Butler

Lewis Lowery

John Horback

John Sowel

Edward Chambers

Beaty Web

Edward Morris

Thomas Pickett

Isaac Inceste

William Treneen

William Ussery

William Web

John Williams

William Jowers

Walter Gibson

John Burcham

Shadrach Denson

Silvester Gibson

William Sowel

Joseph Harrison

Burlingham Rudd

John Carpenter

Joseph Howelt

John Murphy

Francis Jourden

Thomas Ussery

John Liles

Henry Burcham

John Thomas

James Liles

William Morris

Benjamin Covington

Thomas Arrington

John Morgan

Isam Haley

Thomas Mackneih

James Burcham

Silas Haley

Thomas Fox

James Sanders

George Belvin

Henry Stokes

Joseph Morris

William Blewet

John Brooks Junr

Samuel Sowel

Charles Sowell

William Lucas Junr

Welcome Ussery

James Gibson

Joseph Allen

Matthew Raiford Junr

William Gibson

William Morris Junr

Elisha Thomson

John Hunt

Lewis Sowell

John Thompson

Richard Braswell

John Skinner

Goin C. Morgan

George Braswell

Jesse Wallas

 

 

Ref. Source: "Colonial Records", Vol. VIII, 1769-1771, pp. 81-82 and pp. 241-244, by Saunders; also: North Carolina History Told By Contemporaries," pp.87-93, by Lefler; also: "The War of The Regulators and The Battle of Alamance, May 16, 1771, by William S. Powell.

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