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[98] was not at present eligible; that a further
Chap. XLVI.} 1775. July to Oct.
confederacy ought only to he adopted in case of the last necessity, and then only after consultation with to the provincial congress. Hooper acquiesced, and the house adopted unanimously his draft of an address to the inhabitants of the British empire, most solemnly disavowing the desire of independence, consenting to the continuance of the old injurious and oppressive regulation of trade, and asking only to be restored to the state existing before 1763.

On the eighteenth of October the provincial council held its first meeting. Among its members were Samuel Johnston; Samuel Ashe, a man whose integrity even his enemies never questioned, whose name a mountain county and the fairest town in the western part of the commonwealth keep in memory; Abner Nash, an eminent lawyer, described by Martin as ‘the oracle of the committee of Newbern, and a principal promoter of sedition;’ but on neither of these three did the choice of president fall; that office of peril and power was bestowed unanimously on Cornelius Harnett, of New Hanover, whose earnestness of purpose and disinterested, unquenchable zeal had made him honored as the Samuel Adams of North Carolina. Thus prepared, the people of that colony looked towards the future with dignity and fearlessness. The continent, still refusing to perceive the impending necessity of independence, awaited the answer to its last petition to the king.

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