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Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country

The Honourable, the General Assembly of North Carolina now Sitting

The Inhabitants of the Western Country humbly sheweth:

That it is with sincere concern we lament the unhappy disputes that have long subsisted between us and our Brethren on the Eastern side of the Mountains, respecting the erecting a new Government.

We beg leave to represent to your Honourable body, that from Acts passed in June, 1784, ceding to Congress your Western territory, with reservations and conditions therein contained; also from a clause in your wise and mild Constitution, setting forth that there might be a State, or States, erected in the West whenever your Legislature should give consent for same; and from our local situation, there are numberless advantages, bountifully given to us by nature, to propagate and promote a Government with us.

Being influenced by your Acts and Constitution, and at the same time considering that it is our undeniable right to obtain for ourselves and posterity a proportionable and adequate share of the blessings, rights, privileges, and immunities alloted with the rest of mankind, have thought that the erecting a new Government would greatly contribute to our welfare and convenience, and that the same could not militate against your interest and future welfare as a Government.

Hoping that mutual and reciprocal advantages would attend each party, and that cordiality and unanimity would permanently subsist between us ever after, we earnestly request that an impartial view of our remoteness be taken into consideration; that great inconveniency attending your seat of Government, and also the great difficulty in ruling well and giving protection to so remote a people, to say nothing of the almost impassable mountains Nature has placed between, which renders it impracticable for us to furnish ourselves with a bare load of the necessaries of life, except we in the first instance travel from one to two hundred and more miles through another State ere we can reach your Government.

Every tax paid you from this country would render us that sum the poorer, as it is impossible, from the nature of our situation, that any part could return into circulation, having nothing that could bear the carriage, or encourage purchasers to come so great a distance; for which reasons were we to continue under your Government a few years, the people here must pay a greater sum than the whole of the medium now in circulation for the exigencies and support of your Government, which would be a sum impossible for us to secure, would we be willing to give you our all; and of course we must be beholden to other States for any part we could raise; and by these means our property would gradually diminish, and we at last be reduced to mere poverty and want by not being able equally to participate with the benefits and advantages of your Government.

We hope that having settled West of the Appalachian Mountains ought not to deprive us of the natural advantages designed by the bountiful Providence for the convenience and comfort of all those who have spirit and sagacity enough to seek after them.

When we reflect on our past and indefatigable struggles, both with savages and our enemies during our late war, and the great difficulty we had to obtain and with-hold this Country from those enemies at the expense of the lives and fortunes of many of our dearest friends and relation; and the happy conclusion of peace having arrived, North Carolina has derived great advantages from alertness in taking and securing a Country, from which she has been able to draw her treasury, immense sums of money, and thereby become enabled to pay off, if not wholly, yet a great part, and sink her national debt.

We therefore humbly conceive you will liberally think that it will be nothing more than paying a debt in full to us for only to grant what God, Nature, and our locality entitles us to receive.

Trusting that your magnanimity will not consider it a crime in any people to pray their rights and privileges, we call the world to testify our conduct and exertion in behalf of American Independence; and the same to judge whether we ask more than free people ought to claim, agreeable to Republican principles, the great foundation whereupon our American fabric now stands.

Impressed with the hope of your great goodness and benevolent disposition that you will utterly abhor and disclaim all ideas of involving into innumerable, disagreeable and irksome contentions, a people who have so faithfully aided and supported in the time of imminent and perilous dangers; that you will be graciously pleased to consent to a separation; that from your paternal tenderness and greatness of mind, you will let your stipulations and conditions be consistent with honour, equity and reason, all of which will be cheerfully submitted to; and we, your petitioners, shall always feel an interest in whatsoever may concern your honour and prosperity.

Lastly, we hope to be enabled by the concurrence of your State to participate in the fruits of the Revolution; and to enjoy the essential benefits of Civil Society under a form of Government which ourselves alone can only calculate for such a purpose.

It will be a subject of regret that so much blood and treasure have been lavished away for no purpose to us; that so many sufferings have been encountered without compensation, and that so many sacrifices have been made in vain.

Many other considerations might be here adduced, but we hope what hath been mentioned will be sufficient for our purpose, adding only that Congress hath, from time to time, explained their ideas so fully and with so much dignity and energy that if their arguments and requisitions will not produce conviction, we know of nothing that will have greater influence, especially when we recollect that the system referred to is the result of the collected wisdom of the United States, and, should it not be considered as perfect, must be esteemed as the least objectionable.

John Corson Mary Webster (?) Thomas Millikan
James English George Kirkpatrick Thomas Dicson
William Hannah Thomas Jones Redman McDaniel
Peter McNamee William Jones Nathaniel Witt
James Shanks Reuben Simmon Rich’d Dunn
David Robinson Archibel Alexander Wm. Dunn
Robert Allison Moses Kelsay Thomas Call
Isaac Davis Robert McCall H. Call
James Mitchell Joseph Alexander Joseph N. Newport
David Gewel Wm. Cocke Wm. W. Newport
Thomas Bell Archibald Roan John Greer
Thomas Rodgers Elias Witt Absolem Greer
Anthony Kelly Thomas Witt Thomas Springer
Thos. McMackin Alex. Lowry Levy Springer
George Davies Jno. McClelland Thomas Wolfe
Nathaniel Davies Solomon Reed Conrod Wolfe
Samuel Davies Uriah McClellennon Phillip Suibb
John Lowe James Stinson Henry Easter
Joseph Wilson Alexander Street William Eatster
David Brown James McPherson Simeon Craine
William Brown John Prim Harmon Nowel
Jas. Henry Jacob Smelser James Patton
Alexr. Potter Joshua Kidwell Robert Patton
William Reynolds Samuel Jameson John Fout
David Reynolds John Brumley Peter Fout
Aaron Been William Davidson Harman Kennedy
William Wilson Wm. Boyd Moses Long
Thos. Thomson Benja. Gist Coonnas Miller
David Rankin Thos. Bromley Thomas McKee
John Lee Hugh Beard And. Wray
Sam’l Vance Samuel Beard Wm. Wood
Rd. Kerr James Millikin Gordon Potter
Samuel McPherson Robert Orr Wm. Peck
Matthew Rue Searling Bowman Thomas Mosely
Joseph Lusk Rich’d Woods Henry Mosely
Andrew Jackson Robert McCall Phillip Rudolph
Jos. Gest John Galbreath Wm. Stubblefield
Jos. Newberry (Illegible) Thomas Baits
Joseph Blair James Watson John Keller
Thomas Williams (Illegible) Moses Keller
Henry Styers William Goings William Fergosen
Thomas Tadlock (his x mark) James Hays Adam Fergosen
William McPick David Carr Ralph Hogan
Botholmu Odeneal Joseph Garrison William Hogan
Shadrack Hale, Jr. (his x mark) William Gillehan Richard Webb
Daniel Denny, Jr. Stephen Strong Josiah Epperson
John Wear Michael Rawlings Humph’y Montgomery
Ashael Rawlings Donnell Cremor Carmack George
Henry Earnest Nath. McMeno. Charles Willson
James Patterson William La''' (?) John Johnston
Francis Hughes (Illegible) Samuel Gilbertson
Robert Hood Wm. Morrow Samuel McMinn
Wm. Francis (his x mark) Charles Ramsey Auborn''' (?)
Patrick Kirkpatrick (his x mark) (Illegible) Anson Rit
John Tadlock John R.''' (?) Nuness Potter
James Davis Peter Nowels John Noman (?)
Benn Brumley James Millikan Peter Nuless
James W. Begses (?) Daniel Leming James Stump
Dalton Ridgs John Williams Leonard Hopkins
James Jack Robert Miller (his x mark) Martha Gahee
John Adkins (Illegible) Patrick Gahee
Adword Adword William Hust. (his x mark) Jeremiah Smith
Henry Brumley Wm. Magill Robert Sample
Simon Ridgs Oton Clark Anthony Moore
Joseph Donn John Gibson James McCammis
Allen Bellew Reuben Gibson Thomas McCammis
Rows Potter William Adkins William McCammis
John Norton Thomas Fryar Adam McCammis
Aaron Norton John Lyon Henry H. Hammer
Aaron Rider Rich’d Wood Franses Castel
John Jameson James Pickins Jacob Meek
Dan’l Rawlings Robert Bettey Thomas Miller
William Jinkins George Black Robert Pain
Robert Smith Reuben Riggs Joseph Hamilton
Wm. Howard George Hayes Robert Kerr
Joshua Tadlock William Hill John Sellars
Robert Hayes Henry Richardson Benj. Wray
Thomas Johnson Shiffell Goodlop Wm. Moore
Francis Johnson John Shane Joseph Ray
Js. Huston (his x mark) Miller Doget Thomas Baley (his x mark)
John Huston (his x mark) Christy Miers Moses Moore
Lanry Armstrong John Miers Joseph Lachlen, Sen.
William Hennidge William Owins Joseph Lachlen, Jur.
John Armstrong Thomas Owins Edward Crunt (?)
Andrew English John Jarrett James Crunt
Nathaniel Hayes Thomas Pickny  

The following names are taken from the back of the petition:

Nicholas Hayes Jno. Chester Joseph Huson
Sam’l Hayes Patrick Morrison Mikill Borders
Jno. Mitchell Stephen Easley Alx. Pethrow
James Hammer Jackal Light Oystan Hewtower
Henry Hokimer Robert Easley Wm. Davies
Geo. Martin Henry Sullivan John Noris
David Moore John Light Robert Hayes
Henry Winterberger Moses Robinson John Hayes
Jos. Winterberger William Light William Sippard
Sam’l Winterberger William Light, Sen. Alexander Cavitt
Joseph Lusk Thomas Easley Moses Cavitt
Thos. Wood William Goad Jacob Jobe
Joseph Gest Jesey Holland Nathan Jobe
William Gest James Walb''' (?) Joseph Birdwell
Joshua Kidwell William Wilson Geo. Birdwell
Thomas Davie Moses Kennedy James Smith
John Kidwell Hermon King Moses Russel
Charles Kidwell Joseph Screat Conrad Shepley
Whaley Newby Lewis Tadlock John Comin
Craven Dunear Thomas Tadlock Walker Barren
Alexr. Lowrey Joshuaway Padfield John Bell
James Stinson Thomas Bennet (his x mark) William Carson
Adam Guthrey Moses Kelsay Robert Christian
Wm. Craige John Anderson Abraham Tittsworth
Benjamin Henslee James Richardson Benjamin Walb'''(?)
Abel Morgan David Taylor Green Chote
Thomas Vincent Benja. Gist John Goad, Jun.
George Vincent William Bucknell John Pryor
Henry Heckey Haley Bucknell Moses Looney
Owen Atkin Preley Bucknell Macajah Adams
Nicholas Mercer Shadrick Haile James McLern
Richard Mercer, Sen. Forrester Mercer Alexander Caright
Arch’d McHaughan Bryce Russell, Sen. Benj. Burdwell
Edward Mercer Bryce Russell, Jr. John Dean
John Black James Pickens William Holland
John Hunt, Jr. Phil. Grafford Pierce William Morroson
Basset Hunt William Gewil John Morroson
Reuben Hunt Charles Parker James Morroson
Thomas Tipton Anthony Agee Samuel Bofman
Jonathan Hunt John Sawyer David Merryon
James Cooper Joseph Moore Richard Morell
Isaiah Waldrew John Yancy Dudley Rutherford
Lewis Hunt Richard Shipley John Bradford
James Smart W. Cage Peter Fin
James Smith Timothy Huff John Hunt
Joseph Smith George Christian William Bailey
John Duncan Deness Murfee George Smith
Wm. Berry Isaac Thomas Jacob Joab
Isaac White William Massengill William Cooper
Samuel Cox John Tulley Wm. Jackson
James Wheeler Thos. Easterlin Ephraim Joab
John Cottrell William Copeland William Mehallm
Hugh Gentry Rich’d Gamon Charles Bacon
Valentine Rose John Spurgin John French
Eli Shipley Thos. King John Bilensy
Thomas Shipley Roger Gibson William Combs
William Childress James Adam William Combs, Jr.
Joshway Hampton Geo. Gabriel (black) Henry Combs
Christurphur Cross John Yokley William Stacey
Benjamin Aze John Woolsey Adam Coumb
Reuben Hunt James Arbutton (?) Daniel Agee
Ellecander Moore Martin Roller, Jr. John Comay
Martin Roller Joseph Blair James Peterson
John A. Caft David Arwin Jeremiah Taylor
D. Wright William'''(?) Joseph Taylor
Adam Stake Thos. Taylor Stephen Taylor
William Shewmaker Adam Stoaks Isaac Taylor
Gabriel Goad Joseph Waldrep John Chisholm
Peter Easley Mattw. Caruthers Edward Tule
Jacob Cox Gilbert Christian Nathaniel Tule


Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country, December, 1787.

In Senate, December, 1787. Read and referred to Court on Public Bills. (N.C. St. Rec., XXII, 705-714.)

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