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[382] of which more than two thirds1 had been irretrieva-
Chap. XLVI.} 1770. Nov.
bly embezzled. In the northern part of the Colony, where the ownership of the soil had been reserved to one of the old proprietaries, there was no land-office2 so that the people who were attracted by the surpassing excellence3 of the land could not obtain freeholds. Every art was employed to increase the expenses of suits at law; and as some of the people in their wretchedness wreaked their vengeance in acts of folly and madness, they were artfully misrepresented as enemies to the Constitution; and the oppressor treacherously acquired the protection which was due to the oppressed. In March, 1770, one of the associate justices reported that they could not enforce the payment of taxes. At the Court in September the Regulators appeared in numbers. ‘We are come down,’ they said, ‘with the design to have justice done;’ they would have business proceed, but with no attorney except the King's; and finding that it had been resolved not to try their causes,4 some of them pursued Fanning and another lawyer, beat them with cowskin whips, and laid waste Fanning's house.5

The Assembly which convened in December, at Newbern, was chosen under a state of alarm and vague

apprehension. Tryon had secured Fanning a seat, by chartering the town of Hillsborough as a borough, but the county of Orange, selected Herman Husbands as its Representative, with great unanimity. The

1 Postscript to Martin to Hillsborough, 30 Jan. 1772.

2 Tryon to Hillsborough, 12 April, 1770.

3 Martin to Hillsborough, 10 Nov. 1770, ‘The super-excellence of the soil.’

4 Judge Henderson to Tryon, 29 Sept. 1770.

5 Deposition of Ralph McNair, of 9th October, 1770.

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