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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Anson County Regulators Petition ~ 9 October 1769

Corresponding Narrative: The Regulator’s Movement and The Aftermath

Mr. Speaker and Gen't of the Assembly.

This Petition of the Inhabitants of Anson County, being part of the Remonstrance of the Province of North Carolina,

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 generally 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 for 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 quantities 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.

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 Jr, 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 Cukpepper, John McNish, 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, Jowl Jormal, Robert Jarman, Andrew Falconbery, Yomond Lloyd, William Thredgill, Isaac Falconbert Junr, Thomas Lucas, Robert Lowery, Henry Falconbery, Wlliam 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 jr, William Gibson, William Morris Junr, Elisha Thomson, John Hunt, Lewis Sowell, John Thompson, Richard Braswell, John Skinner, Goin C. Morgan, George Braswell, Jesse Wallas

Source: "Colonial Records", Vol. VIII, 1769-1771, pp. 81-82 and pp. 241-244, by Saunders