South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948

By David Duncan Wallace | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
THE PROPRIETORS OVERTHROWN, 1719

TO THE long-standing grievances against the Proprietors there was now added the veto of more than a dozen laws, several of them touching the most vital interests of the province. On July 22, 1718, the Proprietors vetoed the import duty act, the act in force sing 1709 guaranteeing the Commons the right of electing the public receiver (or provincial treasurer); the act of 1716 for electing representatives by parishes instead of electing twenty for the northern section at Charles Town and ten for the southern section at Willtown; the act encouraging white immigration; the act looking to the distribution of the Yemassee lands for that purpose; and the act of 1716 placing the Indian trade in the hands of a commission to be conducted on public account. They also ordered the Governor to dissolve the Assembly and have another elected on the old plan.

The infrequency of vetoes during recent years had increased the unwillingness to submit to them in such wholesale fashion. Since the veto in 1693 of the jury act of 1692, there had been several vetoes at the order of the Crown, but no others so far as is known. This was evidently because "Archdale's Law" of 1695 forbade the repeal of that law or of the one regarding the payment of quitrents without the consent of the Assembly, or of any other act assented to by the Proprietors' deputies except such as related to the Crown and royal prerogatives, or the lands, rents, revenues, or charter rights of the Proprietors. Though they are said never to have assented to "Archdale's Law," the Proprietors had until 1718 observed it.

These irritating vetoes arrived at a most unfortunate time. Economic distress and Proprietary negligence in the Yemassee War were still irritating memories as was also the recently settled paper money controversy. Although the colonial spokesmen insisted that the issue had been closed, many passages in the correspondence on the events of 1719 indicate that the opposing views of the colonists and Proprietors on the paper money question formed a background hostile to Proprietary authority, even though it might not be classed as a direct cause of rebellion.

The Governor and Council felt obliged to announce the veto of the duty act, since that had been ordered by the King because it included a

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