Governor Josiah Martin's Executive Council

Dates: 1771 to 1775

Locations Met: See Below

On February 6, 1771, the Crown issued a commission and instructions to the next Royal Governor Josiah Martin. In the instructions, eleven (11) Members of His Majesty's Council were named:
- George Mercer - also Lieutenant Governor
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry
- Robert Palmer
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

On August 12th (Monday), August 23rd (Friday), and August 30th (Friday) of 1771, the Executive Council met in the Council Chamber in the "Palace" in New Bern. Those present were:
- James Hassell
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

Josiah Martin presented his commission and instructions as the new Royal Governor of North Carolina. He took the oaths of office and allegiance and his seat as the leader of this Executive Council. He then required the Members of His Majesty's Council to retake their oaths of office.

Governor Josiah Martin issued a proclamation directing all civil and military officers to continue their duties.

On 8/23, Governor Josiah Martin issued two more proclamations:
- No more exhorbitant fees
- All public officials must publicize their fees and to certify that they are in compliance

On 8/30, the Governor and Executive Council agreed to prorogue the General Assembly until November 15th. They then agreed to issue a proclamation for the encouragement of religion and the discouragement of profane and disorderly conduct.

On November 11th (Monday), November 14th (Thursday), November 18th (Monday), November 21st (Thursday), November 22nd (Friday), November 23rd (Saturday), November 25th (Monday), and November 27th (Wednesday) of 1771, the Executive Council met in the Council Chamber in the "Palace" in New Bern. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

John Sampson arrived on 11/14. John Rutherfurd, Lewis Henry De Rosset, Alexander McCulloch, and William Dry all arrived on 11/18.

Hassell, Howard, Cornell, Sampson, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, McCulloch, and Dry were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On 11/18, the Governor and Executive Council took the oath of abjuration, and the newly-arrived Members of His Majesty's Council retook their oaths of office and their seats on this Executive Council.

Also on 11/18, Nathaniel Duckenfield presented his commission as a Member of His Majesty's Council. He took the oaths of office and allegiance, then took his seat on this Executive Council.

Also on 11/18, Marmaduke Jones presented his mandamus, dated May 4, 1771, as a Member of His Majesty's Council. He took the oaths of office and allegiance, then took his seat on this Executive Council.

Also on 11/18, the Governor and Council agreed to issue a proclamation that all civil officials must take the oath of adjuration as proscribed by the Crown.

On 11/21, the Governor and Council agreed to appoint James Hassell as Chief Baron of the Exchequer. He took the oaths of office and allegiance.

On 11/25, Deputy Sheriff John Nuckols of Tryon County complained that his was having great difficulty doing his job because the inhabitants of Tryon County assert that they actually live in South Carolina. The NC/SC boundary had been recently ordered to be surveyed, but it has not yet been done.

On December 6th (Friday), December 9th (Monday), December 17th (Tuesday), December 21st (Saturday), December 24th (Tuesday), and December 30th (Monday) of 1771, the Executive Council met in the Council Chamber in the "Palace" in New Bern. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry
- Samuel Cornell
- Sir Nathaniel Duckenfield
- Marmaduke Jones

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, Sampson, McCulloch, Dry, Cornell, Duckenfield, and Jones were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

The Governor and Executive Council appointed new Justices of the Peace for Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Bute, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Cumberland, Chatham, Currituck, Dobbs, Duplin, Pasquotank, Surry, Edgecombe, Guilford, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Orange, Wake, Onslow, Rowan, Perquimans, Northampton, Hyde, Pitte, Johnston, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, and Tryon counties.

On 12/30, the Governor and Executive Council agreed to prorogue the General Assembly until May 11, 1772.

On January 25, 1772, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

De Rosset, Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council agreed to issue a proclamation to retain existing taxes that the House of Burgesses recently decided to eliminate.

On April 1, 1772, the Executive Council met in the Council Chamber in the "Palace" in New Bern. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The town of Campbellton recently surrendered its charter - the inhabitants claimed it was "detrimental to their interests." Governor Josiah Martin allowed a new charter.

The Governor and Executive Council agreed to further prorogue the General Assembly until December 10th.

On May 11th (Monday), May 14th (Thursday), May 15th (Friday), May 16th (Saturday), May 18th (Monday), May 19th (Tuesday), May 20th (Wednesday), May 22nd (Friday), May 23rd (Saturday), and May 26th (Tuesday) of 1772, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- Samuel Strudwick
- Samuel Cornell

Lewis Henry De Rosset and John Sampson arrived on 5/14. Martin Howard arrived on 5/26.

Hassell, Strudwick, Cornell, De Rosset, and Sampson were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On 5/22, the Governor and Executive Council appointed new Justices of the Peace for Hyde County.

On 5/26, the Governor and Executive Council issued a proclamation about the illegal practice of taking out Patents on land, removing all the timber and lightwood, then not actually paying for the land and taking a final warrant. This will stop immediately.

On August 22nd (Saturday) and August 25th (Tuesday) of 1772, the Executive Council met in Hillsborough. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- Alexander McCulloch
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard

McCulloch, Strudwick, and Howard were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council agreed to issue a charter for the town of Tarborough.

On 8/25, due to a long drought, the Governor and Executive Council agreed to issue a proclamation prohibiting the exportation of wheat and flour.

On October 12, 1772, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry

De Rosset, McCulloch, and Dry were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

The Governor and Executive Council agreed to extend the prorogued General Assembly from December 11th to January 6, 1773.

On January 11th (Monday), January 13th (Wednesday), January 16th (Saturday), and January 19th (Tuesday) of 1773, the Executive Council sat as a "Court of Claims" in New Bern. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- Samuel Strudwick
- Samuel Cornell
- Martin Howard

Strudwick, Cornell, and Howard were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

[Although the records assert this was a "Court of Claims," the topics covered looked just like a regular Executive Council meeting.]

On January 23rd (Saturday), January 25th (Monday), January 26th (Tueday), and January 27th (Wednesday) of 1773, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- Alexander McCulloch
- Samuel Strudwick
- Samuel Cornell

Martin Howard arrived on 1/27.

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, McCulloch, Strudwick, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On 1/25, this group sat as a "Court of Claims." They granted several Land Patents.

On 1/26, this group sat as a "Court of Claims." They resolved several Land issues.

On 1/27, this group sat as a "Court of Claims." They granted several Land Patents and resolved several Land issues.

On February 4th (Thursday), February 6th (Saturday), and February 11th (Thursday) of 1773, the Executive Council sat as a "Court of Claims" in New Bern. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, McCulloch, Dry, Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

John Rutherfurd gave a summary of problems collecting quitrents since the Crown too over the colony in 1729.

On 2/11, Attorney General Thomas McGuire shed new light on delinquent quitrents.

[Although the records assert this was a "Court of Claims," the topics covered looked just like a regular Executive Council meeting.]

On March 5, 1773, the Executive Council sent a letter to the Secretary of State in London - "we need to get paid more for our services." It was signed:
- James Hassell - President of the Council
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

On March 9th (Tuesday), March 13th (Saturday), and March 16th (Tuesday) of 1773, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- William Dry
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, Sampson, Dry, Strudwick, and Howard were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council agreed to dissolve the General Assembly since not enough members have arrived and not expected. They then issued a Writ of Election

On 3/13, the Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for resurveys. The Receiver General and Attorney General presented their prosecuting delinquents over payment of quitrents.

One 3/16, the Receiver General - John Rutherfurd - convinced the Governor and Executive Council to issue a proclamation to the general population - pay your quit-rents or face legal action. The Governor and Executive Council then agreed to issue another proclamation strictly enforcing the payment of proper duty on "spiritous liquors."

On May 19th (Wednesday), May 21st (Friday), and May 24th (Monday) of 1773, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

John Rutherfurd arrived on 5/24.

De Rosset, Strudwick, Howard, Cornell, and Rutherfurd were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On December 6th (Monday), December 18th (Saturday), December 21st (Tuesday), and December 22nd (Wednesday) of 1773, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, Sampson, McCulloch, Dry, Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

Governor Josiah Martin presented a letter from John Stuart - Superintendent of Indian Affairs - about the murder of two Cherokees in Georgia. The Governor and Executive Council agreed to issue a proclamation offering a reward in apprehending the alleged murderer.

Governor Josiah Martin then presented a letter from SC Lt. Gov. William Bull about Catawba Indians complaining that North Carolina citizens were in their hunting lands and other acts of unkindness.

On 12/18, records noted a complaint of a Tuscarora Chief about a white man who abused their lands.

On 12/21, Governor Josiah Martin prorogued the General Assembly.

On 12/22, Governor Josiah Martin explained why he prorogued the General Assembly. The Executive Council approved.

On March 8th (Tuesday), March 12th (Saturday), March 15th (Tuesday), March 16th (Wednesday), March 19th (Saturday), March 23rd (Wednesday), and March 28th (Monday) of 1774, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- Alexander McCulloch
- William Dry
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, Sampson, McCulloch, Dry, Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed depositions about a deceased man's last wishes, and several wills pertaining to land bequests.

On 3/23, the Governor and Executive Council agreed to issue a proclamation demanding that any settlers in Cherokee lands to remove themselves immediately. They then issued another proclamation continuing the duty on "spiritous liquors."

On 3/28, the Governor and Executive Council agreed to dissolve the General Assembly, and for a new General Assembly to convene on May 26th.

On March 10, 1774, the Crown issued a mandamus to Thomas McGuire to be a Member of His Majesty's Council.
On June 1, 1774, the Crown repealed five (5) Acts passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

On July 14th (Thursday), Julye 15th (Friday), July 16th (Saturday), July 18th (Monday), July 19th (Tuesday), July 20th (Wednesday), July 21st (Thursday), July 22nd (Friday), July 23rd (Saturday), and July 25th (Monday) of 1774, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- John Rutherfurd
- Samuel Strudwick
- Samuel Cornell

James Hassell arrive on 7/15.

Rutherfurd, Strudwick, Cornell, and Hassell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On August 12-13, 1774, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- William Dry
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, De Rosset, Sampson, Dry, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

The Governor and Executive Council appointed new Justices of the Peace for Chatham and Dobbs counties.

Governor Josiah Martin addressed the Executive Council about "discontent among the King's subjects in this province." He advised that we must discourage these assemblies. The Executive Council asked to consider this issue over night.

The Governor and Executive Council appointed James Hassell as Chief Justice - temporarily - since Mr. Howard was absent.

On 8/13, the Executive Council agreed for Governor Josiah Martin to issue a proclamation about the illegal assemblies which are derogatory to His Majesty and Parliament of Great Britain. These must stop immediately and all sheriffs and Justices of the Peace are to help stop them.

On August 25, 1774, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson
- William Dry
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, Sampson, Dry, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council agreed that there were no more steps for them to take regarding the illegal assemblies taking place in the province.

On October 8, 1774, the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- James Hassell - President of the Executive Council
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- William Dry

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, and Dry were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

Governor Josiah Martin has traveled to New York for his health.

James Hassell took the oaths of office and allegiance, then administered the oaths of office and allegiance to the other Members of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council agreed to prorogue the General Assembly until November 24th in New Bern.

President James Hassell presented the Crown's repeal of five (5) Acts of the General Assembly.

President James Hassell appointed John London as Clerk of Council (Pro Tempore) during the absence of Samuel Strudwick.

On February 23rd (Thursday), February 24th (Friday), February 25th (Saturday), February 27th (Monday), and February 28th (Tueday) of 1775, the Executive Council sat as a "Court of Claims" in New Bern. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Rutherfurd, Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On 2/24, Capt. John Collett, commander at Fort Johnston presented a petition from the garrison - we have run out of timber for firewood. Please grant more nearby land so we can cut trees for firewood. This was approved.

On 2/25, the Governor and Executive Council settled an estate issue and several requests for Land resurveys.

On 2/27, the Governor and Executive Council addressed several requests for Land resurveys.

On 2/28, the Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

[Although the records assert this was a "Court of Claims," the topics covered looked just like a regular Executive Council meeting.]

On March 1st (Wednesday), March 2nd (Thursday), March 3rd (Friday), March 4th (Saturday), March 9th (Thursday), March 11th (Saturday), March 14th (Tuesday), March 15th (Wednesday), March 17th (Friday), and March 21st (Tueday) of 1775, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

Hassell, Rutherfurd, Strudwick, Howard, and Cornell were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

Governor Josiah Martin informed the Executive Council about newspaper articles announcing that each county and town are to elect delegates to attend a convention in New Bern on April 3rd. The Executive Council advised him to issue a proclamation that this planned assembly will be in contempt of the province - all must renounce this "cabal" and illegal proceedings.

The Governor and Executive Council then addressed petitions for Land Patents/Warrants and requests for resurveys.

On April 2nd (Sunday), April 6th (Thursday), April 7th (Friday), April 10th (Monday), April 11th (Tuesday), April 12th (Wednesday), April 14th (Friday), and April 24th of 1775, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber in the "Palace." Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- Alexander McCulloch
- Samuel Strudwick
- Martin Howard
- Samuel Cornell

William Dry arrived on 4/11.

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, McCulloch, Strudwick, Howard, Cornell, and Dry were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

Governor Josiah Martin informed the Executive Council of His Majesty's commands for him to use his utmost endeavor to prevent the election of delegates from North Carolina going to another Congress in Philadelphia in May. Since the local newspaper advertises yet another assembly in New Bern tomorrow for the selection of said delegates, he asked the Executive Council for advice. They unanimously agreed the only course of action is to issue another proclamation warning that such a gathering is illegal and highly offensice to the King and dishonorable to the current General Assembly of this province. Governor Josiah Martin forbids this gathering and to resist such illegal and dangerous proceedings.

On 4/6, Thomas McGuire appeared and presented his mandamus as a Member of His Majesty's Council. He took the oaths of office and allegiance, then took his seat on this Executive Council - the last new man to be admitted to the Executive Council in North Carolina.

On 4/7, Governor Josiah Martin presented a new Resolve of the House of Burgesses, which approved of the Continental Congress to be held in Philadelphia. The Governor and Executive Council agreed to dissolve the General Assembly and issued a proclamation, dated April 8, 1775.

On 4/11, the Governor and Executive Council appointed new Justices of the Peace for Chatham, Tryon, Guilford, Rowan, and Bladen counties. They also addressed several petitions for resurveys.

On 4/12, the Governor and Executive Council addressed petitions for resurveys and new Land Warrants. They also annulled the commission of John Harvey as a Justice of the Peace.

On 4/24, the Governor and Executive Council appointed new Justices of the Peace for Pitt County, and removed seven (7) men.

On June 25, 1775, the Executive Council met at Fort Johnston in Brunswick County. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- John Rutherfurd
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- William Dry
- Thomas McGuire

Hassell, Rutherfurd, De Rosset, Dry, and McGuire were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

Governor Josiah Martin addressed the Executive Council - sedition is rampant, with many under arms and over-awing His Majesty's subjects.

The Executive Council responded - there is not much else you or we can do now.

Governor Josiah Martin reminds them of his authority to issue militia commissions. The Executive Council recommended that he issue commissions to the counties at large.

Governor Josiah Martin then informed the Executive Council that Fort Johnston's garrison included Capt. John Collett and 25 men, half of which have already deserted. The Executive Council recommended applying to Gen. Thomas Gage for money to repair the fort and raising new men to garrison it.

On July 18, 1775 (a Tuesday), the last Executive Council met aboard the HMS Cruizer in the Cape Fear River. Those present were:
- Gov. Josiah Martin
- James Hassell
- Lewis Henry De Rosset
- John Sampson

Hassell, De Rosset, and Sampson were identified as Members of His Majesty's Council.

The Executive Council noted that the "deluded people of this Province" will see their error and return to their allegiance to the King.

James Hassell recommended that the governor should take every lawful measure in his power to suppress the "unnatural rebellion" now fomenting.

Governor Josiah Martin recommended that the guns at Fort Johnston be dismounted and put under the protection of this ship of war. The Executive Council agreed.

The records noted that Capt. Francis Parry was the commander of HMS Cruizer.

If more information comes available it will be added herein.

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