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The great Demand for the Commodities of the Country that this necessarily occasion’d, together with the Scarcity of them by the Peoples being taken from their Labour to defend themselves, and there being no other way of paying their Debts to the Merchants in England but by the Produce of the Country, the Money being National, having no Intrinsick Value in it; all these things concurr’d to raise the Price of the Rice, Pitch and Tar, and other Productions, to such a height, that the Bill that was made for Twenty Shillings, would not purchase what was worth intrinsically more than a Half a Crown. From whence it follow'd, that those who had Money owing them on Bond or otherwise before the War, and who must have been paid in Gold or Silver, or its Value, if those Bills had not been made Current in all Payments, by their being so, lost Seven Eighths of their Money: These Losses fell chiefly on the Merchants and such of the Inhabitants of Charles Town as were Money'd Men; and, on the contrary, the Planters, who were their Debtors, were the Gainers. vati ivision
This so very great a Loss falling upon the Merchants (tho' I do truly believe it was not foreseen by the People) made very great Clamours in England, from them, who applied to the Lords Proprietors for Redress, and desired that a Stop might be put to the Increase of that sort of Currency, and that some Way might be found for the calling-in, and sinking what was then Current of them. In this Condition and thus Circumstanced, Mr. Johnson found the People on his Arrival, who was appointed Governor by the Lords Proprietors Commission dated 30th of April 1717; and agreeable to an Act of Parliament in that Case provided, he was Approv'd of by His MAJESTY, under his Sign Manual.
etidad s on tela At his first coming, he applied himself to the Assembly, to call-in those Bills, which had brought so great Inconveniencies upon themselves, as well as on the Traders ; and in Justice and Honour, (he told them) they ought to make good ; and so far prevail'd on them, that altho' there were great Contentions in the Assembly, between the Planting and the Mercantile Interest; altho' the Annual Expences of the Country were then very great, the Indian War with some Nations still continuing, Coast very much infested with Pyrates, who had several times block'd up the Harbour for several Weeks together, and taken all the Ships coming in or going out, which had put the Country to great Expences; they having fitted out Vessels twice, and taken two of them, one commanded by Major Steed Bounett, in Cape-Fear River, and the other by Worley, off the Bar of Charles Town; in which last Expedition Mr. Johnson went himself in Person :
I say, notwithstanding they then labour'd under these Difficulties, they passed an Act for Sinking and Paying off all their Paper Credit in three Years, by a Tax on Lands and Negroes, which gave a general Satisfaction. gaisged color movi
It will be necessary here to make a Digression, to inform the Reader, that at the first Settling the Country, before it was divided into Parishes, the whole Lower House of Assembly were chosen at Charles Town, and were Representatives of the whole Province; which Custom had continued after the Country was laid out in Parishes, until about a Year before Mr. Johnson arriv’d: When in the Government of Mr. Daniel, who was left Deputy Governour by Mr. Craven when he came for England, they pass'd a Law for Regulating the Elections for Members of the Assembly; wherein amongst other Things it was Enacted, That every Parish should send a certain Number of Representatives, 36 in all, and that they should be Balloted for at their. respective Parish-Churches, or some other Place convenient, on a Day to be mention'd in the Writs, which were to be directed to the Church-Wardens, and they to make Return of the Elected Members : and of this Act, the People were very fond ; finding it gave them a greater Freedom of Election, and was more easy to them than going out of their respective Countries to Charles Town; at which Elections, there had been very often great Tumults; and besides, that it came nearer the Methods used in England. dry
On the other hand, as it pleased the Generality of the People, because of the Freedom it gave them in their Choice, it was sure to displease two of the Lords Proprietors Principal Officers; their Chief Justice and Receiver General Mr. Trott, and Mr. Rhett his Brother in Law; who by the former Method of Electing at Charles Town, had used to have a great Sway in the Elections, which they thought would be lessen'd by this new method ; and therefore they did what they could to obstruct the Passing the Bill, which they failed in ; but so represented it to the Lords Proprietors with whom they had always too much interest, either for their Lordships or the Peoples Good, that just at the Juncture when they had been at the aforesaid great Expence to drive the Pyrates off their Coast, that they were mightily pleas’d with Mr. Johnson for exposing his own Person in that Expedition against them, bad pass'd the Law for sinking their paper Currency, and were contriving to pay for their Expeditions against the Pyrates, and their other contingent Debts, and they were never observ'd to be in so good a Disposition towards the Proprietors, but were doing every Thing that could be ask'd of
cand cellor dependither, the then
« increase bis Fees, contrary to Acts of Assembly, and to the “ great Grievance of the Subjects ; and that amongst others, he - Contriv'd a Fee for Continuing Causes from one Court (or “ Term) unto another, and then had Put off the Hearing for " several Years together; that he took upon him to give Advice “ in Causes depending in his Courts, and did not only act as a
Councellor in that Particular, but also had and did draw Deeds *** and other Writings between Party and Party, some of which chad been contested before him as Chief Justice ; in the deter6. mining of which, he had shewn great Partialities, with many
other Particulars; and lastly, complaining that the whole Ju“ dicial Power of the Province was lodg'd in his Hands alone; 66 of which it was evident he had made a very ill Use, he being " at that time sole Judge of the Pleas and King's-Bench, and "Judge of the Court of Vice-Admiralty; so that no Prohibition « could be lodg'd against the Proceedings of that Court, he being «« in that Case to grant a Prohibition against himself; he was 66 also, at the same time, one of the Council, and of consequence, 66 of the Court of Chancery. "5 191 .1 y ssen og ¿ These Complaints took their Rise from the Attornies who practis'd in the Courts, and were fully made appear to be Facts to the Commons House of Assembly; but the Judges Commission from the Proprietors being Quam diu se bene gesserit, and he insisting his Actions were not to be tried but before the Proprietors themselves, they were constrained to apply to the Proprietors for Redress; and therefore sent a Message to the Governor and Council, desiring they would join with them in representing his Male-Administration to the Lords, and in supplicating them, that if they did not think fit to remove him entirely from presiding in their Courts of Justice, (which they desired, then that they would at least leave him only one single Jurisdiction, that they might have the Liberty of Appealing from his sole, and too often, Partial Judgment. 09 - The Governor and a Majority of his Council agreed with them, to represent the Grievances they complain'd of, to the Proprietors; and thinking it might be better done by one of their own Members, who had been present in all their Debates, than by Letters, they agreed on Mr. Yonge to go to GreatBritain, to give their Lordships a true State of this, as well as of their other Affairs, who was accordingly properly instructed, and in the Month of May, 1719, arrived in London. 99491 - The Lord CARTERET the Palatine was then just going on his Embassy to the Court of Sweden, who therefore was pleased to refer hirn to the rest of the Proprietors; and after having waited on them two or three times, he presented them with the following Memorial.