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[185] the instrument of political power. Never yet had
Chap. XXXV.} 1768. Sept.
the tribunal of justice been so mocked.

Goaded1 by oppression and an intuitive jealousy of frauds, men associated as ‘Regulators,’2 binding themselves to avoid if possible all payment of taxes,3 except such as were levied, and were to be applied according to law; and ‘to pay no more fees than the law allows, unless under compulsion, and then to bear open testimony against it.’ They proposed to hold a General Meeting quarterly;4 but they rested their hopes of redress on the independent use of their elective franchise; being resolved to know and enjoy the liberties which they had inherited, without turning pale at the name of ‘rebellion.’ ‘An officer,’ said the inhabitants of the west side of Haw River,5 ‘is a servant to the public; and we are determined to have the officers of this country under a better and honester regulation.’

It was easy to foresee that the rashness of ignorant, though well-meaning husbandmen, maddened by oppression, would soon expose them to the inexorable vengeance of their adversaries. As one of the Regulators rode to Hillsborough, his horse was, in mere wantonness, seized for his levy, but was soon rescued by a party, armed with clubs and eleven muskets. Some one at Fanning's door showed pistols, and threatened to fire among them; upon which four or

1 Tyree Harris's Advertisement.

2 A plain, simple Narrative of Facts, signed in behalf of the Regulators, by a Committee of eight. Ms.

3 Association Paper agreed upon, &c. &c. 1768, probably of 4 April, Ms. I have a very full collection of papers on the subject of the Regulators.

4 Vote at a General Meeting of the Regulators, 4 April, 1768.

5 Request of the Inhabitants of the West Side of Haw River to the Assemblymen and Vestrymen of Orange County, 1768.

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