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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Letter from the William Dent to Samuel Ashe
Dent, William
August 23, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 761-762

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from the Safety Committee in Guilford County to the North Carolina Council of Safety.

Guilford County, 23d August, 1776.

Sir:

The Committee of this County have past a resolve appointing a Company of light horse to scout and apprehend those that are disaffected to the Common Cause & for the express purpose of Inforcing the resolves of Congress and dispersing meetings or Imbodying of the Torys, in Consequence of which several disaffected persons have been brought before that bord, some of whom have been required to given an Inventory of their Estates. Several have refused to comply with this requisition, in Consequence of which and in Compliance of a resolve of your bord the Committee have ordered them into Costody, to be sent to the Council. Against Eliott & Woodward nothing very criminal appears to amount to more than a suspicion, on which we are to require an Inventory, & which is refused by those two men, as they say on religious principals. In Justice to those two men and two others, Wilson & Julian, I have to say that during the time of their Confinement, about two weeks, they have behaved themselves very orderly. They will best inform you what Indulgence they have mett with. They have been Extreemly punctual to their words &c.

I woud Just observe that there has been some discontent on appointing of the Company aforesaid, altho' I must observe they only embody at the particular Instance of the Committee and under their Controul, and by no means any power to Act at their own discretion, notwithstanding the Committee woud by no means streach their power beyond the bounds intended them. I shoud therefore, on behalf of the Committee in general and myself in particular, as a Member of that body, be greatly obliged that you woud take the Matter into Consideration and Mark out to us the particular line by which we are to Act, and signify your sense of the proceedings respecting the Company aforesaid. At the same time it is my opinion that something is absolutely necessary to be done to keep this refractory spirit within peaceable bounds.

The Committee have ordered James Hunter into Costody & to be sent to your bord, & I am Just informed that he has set out with a

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petition to the Council, signed by some of the Members of Committee. This paper (if he has any) I am to inform you has not been laid before the Committee, therefore could receive no sanction from that bord. At the time the Committee resolved to raise a Company, it appeared that the Tories intended to Imbody. Several letters and reports Certify this. Mr Thos Jenkins, who waits on you with this, can give farther light into this affair, to whom I refer you. I must beg pardon for troubling you with those hints, and ask leave to subscribe myself.

Yr very Hble Servt,
WILL. DENT.