Petition from inhabitants of Anson County


Petition from inhabitants of Anson County concerning taxes and fees for public officials Snor, John; Et Al.

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State. at: ] Mr Speaker and Gent of the Assembly. The Petition of the Inhabitants of Anson County, being part of the Remonstrance of the Province of North Carolina, Humbly Sheweth 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 notwithstanding our sacred priviledges, 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 to lay before you a specimen thereof that your compassionate endeavours may tend to the relief of your injured Constituents, whose distressed condition calls aloud for aid. The alarming cries of the oppressed possibly may reach your Ears; but without your zeal how shall they 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 priviledges invaded and abridg’d (by as it were) domesticks: who are conscious of their guilt and void of remorse.—O how daring! how relentless! whilst impending Judgments loudly threaten and gaze upon them, with every emblem of merited destruction. A few of the many grievances are as follows, (Vizt) 1. That the poor Inhabitants in general are much oppress’d by reason of 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 is in other Counties within this Province; to the Peoples great oppression. 3. That Lawyers, Clerks, and other pentioners; 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, to commence suits to what Courts he pleases, however inconvenient it may be to the Defendant: is a very great oppression. 5. That all unlawful fees taken on Indictment, where the Defendant is acquitted 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 as 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 to pay in proportion to the proffits arising from his Estate. 3. That no future tax be laid in Money, untill 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 not to be call’d in by a Tax. 6. That all debts above 40s. and under £10 be tried and determined without Lawyers, by a jury of six freeholders, impanneled by a Justice, and that their verdict be enter’d by the said Justice, and be a final judgment. 7. That the Chief Justice have no perquisites, but a Sallary only. 8. That Clerks be restricted in respect to fees, costs, and other things within the course of their office. 9. That Lawyers be effectually 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 where the Defendant is not found guilty by the jury, and therefore acquitted. 11. That the Assembly make known by 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 do 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 immense sums has been collected, and numerous Patents granted, for much of the most fertile lands in this Province, that is yet uninhabited and uncultivated, 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 many Tracts of Land, and that the same was in due time survey’d and return’d, and the Patent fees timely paid into the said office; and that if a private Council was called on purpose to avoid spectators, and peremptory orders made that Patents should not be granted; and Warrants by their orders arbitrarily to have 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 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 Country and that ware Houses be erected as follows (Vizt) In Anson County at Isom Haleys Ferry Landing on PeDee 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 custom after due publication or Licence.— 17. That Doctr 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:— Dated October ye 9th 1769 John Snor John Ryle Saml Gaylord Isaac Armstrong John Culpepper Richard Sands Wm Thomson John Jones Sr Jason Irol Hinsinbru Authd Hutchins Wm Grifen Hogon Thoms Preslar Seamor Almond Richard Maner Thompson Culpepper Isaac Falconberg John Watts Daniel Culpepper Francis Smith John Davis John Snider Jno Jeffery Richd Leak Wm. Mims Neal French Charles Hines Robert Smith Jero Miller John McIlvailly Zechariah Smith Tirey Robinson Van Swearingen John Smith Gabrill Davis William Hore John Thomas Aquila Jones Joseph Martin Willm Burt Thomas Tallant Thomas Nelson Edwd Smith James Denson William Burns Elija Clark Wm Raiford John Leveritt John Clark John I. Merree Theofilis Williams James Adams Geo Wilson Wm Leveritt Thos Mason Junr Robert Webb Jams Williams John Bennet Thomas Taylor John Coleman Jonathan Turner David Smith Meeager Edwards Barnabee Skipper James Barker Antho Mathis George Skipper John Mims Fagan Gring John Jenkins John Brooks junr Samll Ratcliff David Phelps Wm C. B. Bond John Long John McNish John Bond Charles Smith John Cockerham Moses M. Tallant James Bound Jonathan Lewellyn Benja Dumas Abraham Pelyou Leonard Franklyn Joseph White Jason Meadow Jr Edward Almond Wm Sidden Jason Meadow Thos. Mims Silvanus Waker Robert Broadaway John Stinkberry John Smith Sondhill Saml Tonehberg William Leaton David Dumas Samuel Flake Luke Robinson Benjamin Smith Thos Balice John Webb William Benton John Preslie Andrew Griffin Wm Coleman John Cartright George Estress Alexr McPherson Thos Lacy James Griffin E Pickett John Jackson Wm Estress Thomas Gowers Joseph French Stephen Bush Jonathan Gowers William Newberry Joseph Burcham Stokey Yeamons Lennard Webb Stephen Piecock Thos Harper Julius Holley David Jernigan John Johnson John James Jun Robt Jarman James Upton John James Senr William Thredgill Jacob Watson Jimmey James Robt Lowery Isaac Belvin Jonathan Helms Denes Norlen Owen Slaughter Tilmon Helms Lewis Lowery Thos Wright James Sanders Edward Chambers Patrick Sanders John Bailey Thos Pickett William Ussery David Cox Jowl Jormal William Jowers John Horback Yomond Lloyd Shadrach Denson Beaty Web Thos Word Joseph Harrison Isaac Inceste William Lucas Joseph Howelt William Weeb Christopher Butler Thomas Ussery Walter Gibson John Sowel John Thomas Silvester Gibson Edward Morris Benja Covington Burlingham Rudd William Treneen Isam Haley John Murphy John Williams Silas Haley John Liles John Burcham George Belvin James Liles Wm Sowel William Blewet Thos Arrington John Carpenter Danl Laws James Macknejh Francis Jourden Abraham Bellew Thomas Fox Henry Burcham Thos Donnor Henry Stokes William Morris Joseph Hindes John Brooks Junr John Morgan Wm Haley Thadwick Hogins James Burcham Thomas Moorman Thos Barrotz James Sanders Frances Clark Jas E Arnet Joseph Morris Jeremiah Terrell Thos Trull Samuel Sowel Darass Burns Wm Culpepper Charles Sowell Thos Baley John Cooper James Gibson Stephen Bush John Thos Suggs William Gibson Jacob Cockerham John Hornbeck Joseph Hunt John Flowel William Dinkins Richd Braswell Stephen Jackson Thomas Dinkins George Braswell John Jones Marverick Layn Wm Lucas Junr Archelam Moorman Waterman Boatman Joseph Allen William Digge John Simmons Wm Morris Junr Bennakia Moorman Augustine Prestwood Lewis Sowell Wilm Haley Junr Richard Downs John Skinner John Mathews Samel Ratcliff Junr Jesse Wallas James Mathews Elisha Ratcliff Welcome Ussery Joseph Web John Poston Matthew Raiford Junr John Falconbery John Poston Senr Elisha Thomson Andrew Falconbery Ned Mathes John Thompson Isaac Falconbery Junr Benjamin Bunt Goin C Morgan Henry Falconbery Christopher Christian