Governor Gabriel Johnston’s Request to Repeal the Biennial Act, 18 October 1736

Governor Gabriel Johnston’s Request to Repeal the Biennial Act, 18 October 1736

  • I’m addressing your Lordships to ask you to advise His Majesty to repeal the Biennial Act, to order that no precinct send in more than 2 members, & relieve me of the task of establishing a precinct without His Majesty’s permission.
  • I’d like to let you know:
    1. It’s unreasonable that any Assembly meet without His Majesty’s consent. So, I dissolved the Assembly when it last met without royal consent.
    2. The 6 precincts of Albemarle County, each with 5 members, is way over-representative in respect to the population as a whole.
    3. The Lower House has 46 members, again Albemarle County is way overrepresented.
    4. The biggest objection of a biennial Assembly is that it’s too short of a time for anything to happen of note. It causes the colony to be worried about the next election by the time that the last one’s ended. Public opinion doesn’t change that quickly & it might cause members to vote against the public welfare just to appease voters.

Author: knowit68

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