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AN
ABSTRACT
OF THE
CONSTITUTION
OF
CAROLINA.
AS to the Government of Carolina, the Laws of England are there in Force; yet the Lords-Proprietors, by their Deputies, have Power, with the Consent of the Inhabitants, to make By-Laws for the better Government of the said Province; so that no Law can be made, or Money rais'd, unless the Inhabitants, or their Representatives, consent thereto: One Law which they have in South-Carolina deserves particular Mention, which is, their Method of chusing Juries, it being done by making a considerable Number of Paper-Billets, on which are written the Names of as many of the most substantial Freeholders. These Billets are put into a Hat, out of which Twenty-four are chosen by the next Child that appears. Then, out of those Twenty-four, Twelve are chosen at the next Court, after the same manner; which is an infallible way to prevent all Manner of Fraud.

North and South-Carolina Settlements are distant from one another some hundreds of Miles; so that Necessity compels each Colony to keep to themselves, a Governour, Council and Assembly. The Governor represents the Lord-Palatine; the rest of the Counsellors are the Lord-Deputies; who, of themselves, make a Palatine's Court, and a Court of Chancery; wherein they pass several Orders of Council, much of the Nature of the Prince's Proclamation; which continues no longer in Force, than the next Assembly. Likewise, they grant several sorts of Commissions, Warrants, &c. yet Military Commissions lie wholly in the Governor's Power; but Making of War or Peace, in all, or the Majority of the Lords-Deputies; by whom (the Governor being one) it is determin'd, and by whose Commissions all other Magistrates act. On these Heads they have settled, and maintain an admirable Constitution of Government, for the lasting Peace, Security, and Well-being of all the Inhabitants. The way of any ones taking up his Land in Carolina, due to him either by Purchasing it of the Lords Proprietors here in England, who keep their Board at Craven-House in Drury-Lane, London, the first Thursday in every Month; or if purchas'd in Carolina, is after this manner: He first looks out for a Place to his Mind, that is not already possess'd by any other; then applies himself to the Governor and Lords Proprietors Deputies, and shews what Right he hath to such a Tract of Land, either by Purchase of the Lords in England, or by an Entry in the Surveyor-General's Office, in order to purchase of the Governor and Lords Deputies there in Carolina, who thereupon issue out their Warrant-Land as is due to him. Who making Certificate, that he had measured out so much Land and the Bounds, a Deed is prepared of Course, by the Secretary, which is sign'd by the Governor and the Lords Proprietors Deputies, and the Proprietors Seal affix'd to it, and register'd in the Secretaries Office, which is a good Coveyance in Law of the Land therein mention'd, to the Party and his Heirs for ever.

Thus have I given you as large and exact an Account of Carolina, as the Discovery of so few Years (in this great and extensive Land) would permit. Which flourishing Country will, doubtless, in time, increase the Number of its Productions, and afford us plentifully those Necessaries and rich Commodities, which the Streights, Turky and other Countries supply us withal at present, and not seldom in their own Shipping; whereas, were those Merchandizes the Produce of an English Plantation, and brought us home by our own Hands and Bottoms, of what Advantage such an Improvement would be to the Crown of Great-Britain,and the People in general, I leave to Men of Reason and Experience to judge. I do intend (if God permit) by future Voyages (after my Arrival in Carolina) to pierce into the Body of the Continent, and what Discoveries and Observations I shall, at any time hereafter, make, will be communicated to my Correspondents in England, to be publish'd, having furnish'd myself with Instruments and other Necessaries for such Voyages.

For the better Understanding of this Country, I have already drawn a very large and exact Map thereof, as far as any Discoveries have been yet made, either by others or my self, and have spared neither Cost nor Pains, to procure the most correct Maps and Journals thereof, that are extant in Print, or in Manuscript. This Map containing nine Sheets of Imperial Paper, and now fit for engraving, begins at Cape Henry in Virginia,37 deg. N. Lat. and contains all the Coasts of Carolina, or Florida, with the Bahama Islands, great Part of the Bay of Mexico,and the Island of Cuba, to the Southward, and several Degrees to the Westward of the Messiasippi River, with all the Indian Nations and Villages, and their Numbers, which of them are subject to Carolina, and trade with their People, what Places are convenient Factories and Forts, to increase and secure our Trade on the Messiasippi, and what Forts and Factories the French and Spaniards have gain'd in those Latitudes, especially on the great River and the Neighbouring Streams; all which they illegally possess, since the very Mouth of the River Messiasippi is in the King of England's Grant to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, it falling something to the Northward Of 29 Degr. North Lat. whose Claim and Right I question not, but a Peace will adjust, and restore, which every Englishman is bound in Duty and Interest, to wish for; if we consider how advantageously they have seated themselves, whereby to disturb the Peace and Interest of all the English Plantations on the Continent of America.

F I N I S.
 

                                          

 

North Carolina Antique Map Gallery

 

Its Spring and

that means

SHAD!

 

John Lawson's Trek Through the Carolinas 

In 1709 

 

 

The News & Observer

 

An Op-Ed I recently wrote

 

 

Archibald D. Murphy

And the improvement of North Carolina in 1815

 

Penguins and Parrots in North Carolina?

 

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