President Matthew Rowan's Executive Council

Dates: 1753 to 1754

Locations Met: See Below

President and Acting Governor Nathaniel Rice died on January 28, 1753.

On February 1, 1753, the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- John Rutherfurd
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

Rowan, Murray, Hassell, Innes, Rutherfurd, Swann, and De Rosset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

Matthew Rowan was elected as President of the Executive Council and Acting Governor of North Carolina. He took the oaths of office and his seat on this Executive Council.

The President and Executive Council appointed James Murray as Secretary, Clerk of Council, and Clerk of Crown, in place of Nathaniel Rice. He took the oaths of office.

President Matthew Rowan issued a proclamation to all civil officers to continue their duties until further notice.

The records noted that Fort Johnston has no cannons.

Also on February 1, 1753, the Crown commissioned Arthur Dobbs as the next Royal Governor of North Carolina. However, they did not issue this commission until June 17, 1754 along with their instructions to him.

On March 28th (Wednesday), March 29th (Thursday), April 2nd (Monday), April 9th (Monday), April 10th (Tuesday), April 11th (Wednesday), and April 12th (Thursday) of 1753, the Executive Council met in New Bern. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- Lewis Henry DeRosset

John Rutherfurd arrived on 4/9.

Murray, Hassell, Innes, De Rosset, and Rutherfurd were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

Francis Corbin and James Craven presented their mandamuses from the Crown showing their appointment to His Majesty's Council - in place of Eleazer Allen and Cullen Pollock, both deceased. They took the oaths of office and their seats on this Executive Council.

On 4/2, John Rieusset arrived and presented his mandamus showing his appointment to His Majesty's Council. He took the oaths of office and his seat on this Executive Council.

On 4/9, the President and Executive Council appointed Francis Corbin as an Associate Justice of the General Court. He took the oaths of office.

On 4/11, the Pressident and Executive Council appointed James Innes as Receiver General, in place of Robert Halton, deceased. He took the oaths of office.

On May 9th (Wednesday), May 10th (Thursday), and May 12th (Saturday), the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

James Innes arrived on 5/12.

Murray, Hassell, Swann, De Rosset, and Innes were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed many petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

The records noted that the Executive Council was made aware that SC surveyors were laying out lands in what is considered to be North Carolina.

On August 31, 1753, the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- John Rutherfurd
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

Murray, Hassell, Innes, Rutherfurd, Swann, and De Rosset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed several petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

The President and Executive Council issued a proclamation to prorogue the General Assembly until November 27th and for it to meet on that date in New Bern.

On September 26th (Wednesday), September 27th (Thursday), and September 29th (Saturday) of 1753, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- John Swann
- John Rieusset

Murray, Hassell, Swann and Rieusset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed several petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

The President and Executive Council appointed James Hassell as Chief Baron of the Court of Admiralty, and he took the oaths of office.

The President and Executive Council issued a proclamation to prorogue the General Assembly until the third Tuesday in February next, and for them to meet in Wilmington.

On November 8, 1753, Robert Palmer presented his warrant from the Crown appointing him as Surveyor General in place of George Gould, deceased. He as also appointed as Customs Collector for the port of Bath. He took the oaths of offices in the home of President Matthew Rowan.

On November 15th (Thursday) and November 17th (Saturday) of 1754, the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- John Rutherfurd
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

Murray, Hassell, Innes, Rutherfurd, Swann, and De Rosset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The records noted that the Crown's representatives at Whitehall issued notice that there is good information showing that several Indian groups may soon attack the English colonies in America. If this happens, each colony needs to set up help for their sister colonies.

On February 19th (Tuesday), February 22nd (Friday), February 23rd (Saturday), February 26th (Tuesday), February 28th (Thursday), and March 2nd (Saturday) of 1754, the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

Murray, Hassell, Innes, Swann, and De Rosset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed several petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

A letter from Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie was read aloud. He has sent Maj. George Washington to the Ohio territory to see what the French were up to. It was reported that the French had built a fort with cannons and they have engaged several Indian nations to take up arms against the English. Virginia had raised its militia and they ask that North Carolina to send troops to assist by March 1st.

On March 28-30, 1754, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

John Rieusset arrived on 3/30.

Murray, Hassell, Innes, De Rosset and Rieusset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed several petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

It was noted that Col. James Innes was raising a regiment of militia. He requested a Surgeon's Mate, and the Executive Council approved this request.

On 3/29, Col. Robert Palmer of Cumberland County presented his commission.

On 3/30, the President and Executive Council commissioned Felix O'Neil as Clerk of Council, and he took the oaths of office.

On May 15th (Wednesday), May 17th (Friday), May 20th (Monday), and May 21st (Tuesday) of 1754, the Executive Council met in Wilmington. Those present were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- James Innes
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

Murray, Hassell, Innes, Swann, and De Rosset were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed several petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

On 5/17, President Matthew Rowan prorogued the General Assembly until the fourth Tuesday of September and for them to meet in New Bern at that appointed time.

On 5/21, the Magistrates and Militia officers of Rowan County inform the Executive Council that a party of Indians, suspected to be Catawbas, committed several abuses of white settlers in Rowan and Anson counties.

On August 5, 1754, Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent a letter to President Matthew Rowan. He asserted that Col. George Washington marched to the Allegany Mountains and had a brief encounter with the French. He then had a second encounter with the French, with the enemy winning the day. The "monstrous delay" of your troops hurt us. Gov. Dinwiddie continued by informing that Col. James Innes claimed he didn't have enough funds for being out more than two months. Apparently North Carolina pays too much for its militia. Please raise more money and men, and send both to us quickly.

On September 24th (Tuesday), September 26th (Thursday), September 27th (Friday), and September 28th (Saturday) of 1754, the Executive Council met in New Bern, presumably in the Council Chamber. Those in attendance were:
- Matthew Rowan - President
- James Murray
- James Hassell
- Francis Corbin
- John Swann
- Lewis Henry De Rosset

John Rutherfurd arrived on 9/26.

Murray, Hassell, Corbin, Swann, De Rosset, and Rutherfurd were identified as Member of His Majesty's Council.

The President and Executive Council addressed several petitions for Land Patents and requests for new surveys.

John Dawson presented his mandamus, dated June 8, 1752, as a Member of His Majesty's Council, in place of Roger Moore, deceased. He took the oaths of office and his seat on this Executive Council.

On 9/26, President Matthew Rowan read aloud Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie's letter (see directly above), and letters from Col. James Innes, dated August 3rd and August 12th. The President and Executive Council agreed to send more men to support this mission against the French.

On 9/28, President Matthew Rowan issued a proclamation to prorogue the General Assembly until the fourth Tuesday in March next.

Governor Arthur Dobbs arrived in the province in late October of 1754.
If more information comes available it will be added herein.

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