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[329] pounds on the introduction of every negro from abroad.
Chap XXIII}
The polls for the election of representatives had hitherto been held for the whole province at Charleston
1719.
alone; the provincial legislature permitted the votes to be given in each parish. But because the reform increased popular power, this also was negatived. Some of the members of the proprietary council had, by long residence, become attached to the soil and the liberties of their new country; and they were supplanted, or their influence destroyed, by an abrupt increase of the number of their associates. In consequence, at the next election of assembly, though it was chosen at Charleston, the agents of the proprietaries could not succeed in procuring the return of any one whom they desired. The members elect, at private meetings, ‘resolved to have no more to do with the proprietors;’ and the people of the province entered ‘into an association to stand by their rights and privileges.’ It was remembered that the lords of trade had formerly declared the charter forfeit; that the house of peers had favored its prosecution; and, as the known hostil-
1719 Nov. 28.
ity of Spain threatened an invasion, the assembly resolved ‘to have no regard to the officers of the proprietaries or to their administration,’ and begged Robert Johnson, the governor, ‘to hold the reins of government for the king.’ When Johnson, remaining true to his employers, firmly rejected their offer, they, with Arthur Middleton for their president, voted themselves ‘a convention delegated by the people;’ and, resolved ‘on having a governor of their own choosing,’ they elected the brave James Moore, a favorite with the people, ‘whom all the country had allowed to be the fittest person’ for undertaking its defence. The mili-
Hawks' Mss. i. 414.
tia of Charleston was to be reviewed on the twentyfirst

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