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Meeting of the Governor and Council of North-Carolina



At a Council held at Newbern, in North-Carolina, the 1st of March, 1775,

Present: His Excellency the Governour, the Hon˙ Jas˙ Hasell, Hon˙ John Rutherford, Hon˙ Samuel Strudwicke, Martin Howard, and Samuel Cornell, Esquires.

His Excellency informed the Board that he had observed an Advertisement published in the Newspapers, and circulated through this Colony by Handbills, dated Perquimons County, 11th February, 1775, requesting the Counties and Towns thereof, to elect Delegates to represent them in Convention, at the Town of Newbern, on Monday, the third of April next, and signed John Harvey, Moderator. And considering such proceedings to be highly derogatory to the dignity of the Legislature appointed to meet at the same time, and in every light illegal and inconsistent with good order and Government, recommended the matter to the consideration of the Board, and desired their advice of the measures to be taken to contravene the design of said Advertisement.

The Board conceiving the highest detestation of such proceedings, were unanimous in advising His Excellency to issue a Proclamation to inhibit and forbid such illegal meeting; in the following words:

Proclamation of Governor Martin

By His Excellency JOSIAH MARTIN, Esquire, Captain General, Governour, and Commander-in-chief in and over the said Province:


Whereas, an Advertisement is printed in the publick Newspapers, and also industriously circulated about this Colony in handbills, dated from Perquimons County, the 11th day of February, 1775, requesting the Counties and Towns thereof to elect Delegates to represent them in Convention, at the Town of Newbern, on Monday, the 3d day of April next, and signed John Harvey, Moderator. And whereas, the name and authority of such an officer, and such meeting, is unknown to the Laws and Constitution of this Country and such an invitation to the people may tend to ensnare the unwary and ignorant among His Majesty' s loyal and faithful subjects in this Province, to partake in the guilt of such unlawful proceedings:

And whereas, the Assembly of this Province, duly elected, is the only true and lawful representation of the people, and is competent to every legal act that Representatives of the people can do; and as attempt to excite the people to choose another body of Representatives to meet at the time and place appointed for the meeting of the Assembly, is to betray them into a violation of the Constitution, in a point wherein they are most materially concerned


to support it: a contempt of that branch of the Legislature which represents the people, and highly derogatory to its power, rights, and privileges; I have thought proper, by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty' s Council of this Province, to issue this Proclamation: and I do hereby earnestly exhort the many good people of this Province, who have to their honour, hitherto prudently withstood the insidious attempts of evil-minded and designing men, that they do, on this occasion, steadfastly persevere in such loyal and dutiful conduct, and continue to resist and treat with just indignation all measures so subversive of order and Government, and so inconsistent with the allegiance they owe to His Majesty; and that they do not subject themselves to the restraints of tyrannical and arbitrary Committees, which have already, in many instances, proceeded to the extravagance of forcing His Majesty' s subjects, contrary to their consciences, to submit to their unreasonable, seditious, and chimerical Resolves, doing thereby the most cruel and unparalleled violence to their liberties, under the pretence of releasing them from imaginary grievances; and I do further exhort all His Majesty' s subjects in this Province, as they value their dearest rights under the present happy Constitution, and as they would testify their duty and allegiance to the best of Kings, that they forbear to meet to choose persons to represent them in Convention, pursuant to the advertisement herein before recited; and I also do most earnestly recommend to them to renounce, disclaim, and discourage all such meetings, cabals, and illegal proceedings, which artful and designing men shall attempt to engage them in, and which can only tend to introduce disorder and anarchy, to the destruction of the real interests and happiness of the people, and to involve this Province in confusion, disgrace and ruin.

Given under my hand and the great seal of the said Province, at Newbern, the first day of March, Anno Domini, 1775, and in the 15th year of His Majesty' s reign. GOD save the King


By His Excellency' s command,