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Excerpt from Some Eighteenth Century Tracts Concerning North Carolina: With Introductions and Notes
This pamphlet is illustrative of a notable incident in the history of the colonial judiciary of North Carolina, the attempt in 1739 to impeach William Smith, Chief Justice of the Province.
Little is known of the antecedents of William Smith. He is said to have been a graduate of one of the English universities and to have been a barrister for two years before coming to North Carolina. When he arrived is unknown, but early in 17 31 upon the nomination of Governor George Burrington he was appointed a member of the Council and was commissioned Chief Justice. In April he was also appointed Treasurer of the Province, vice Edward Moseley. However, he soon took a part in the controversies of the time as an opponent of Governor Burrington. On three matters the Governor and the Chief Justice differed. First, the Governor held that the assistants appointed along with the Chief Justice were associate justices and had a right to appear on the bench; on the other hand, Smith claimed that they were merely masters in chancery and not judges, and so he held court without them. Second, Governor Bur rington in consulting the Council, submitted questions in writing and asked for an opinion; Smith held that he should appear in person and discuss the matters with the Council. Finally, there were com plaints regarding excessive fees, especially the port fees; the Gov ernor held that these were determined by the Chief Justice, Smith that Burrington was responsible for them.
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bound: 496 pages
publisher: Forgotten Books (May 18, 2017)
isbn: 0259504173, 978-0259504177,
weight: 1.4 pounds (