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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from inhabitants of Carolina and merchants trading with Carolina concerning military aid for the colony
Ketelbey, Abel; Boone, Joseph; Et Al.
July 18, 1715
Volume 02, Pages 196-199

[B. P. R. O. B. T. Proprieties. Vol. 9. Q. 49.]

(18th July 1715.)

We the underwritten the agent for Carolina and Merchants trading thither, beg leave humbly to represent to your Lordships the deplorable condition of that Colony and that unless it is speedily reliev'd it must inevitably perish and all his Majestys Subjects there fall a Prey to their barbarous Enemys.

Most of us have great Debts and Effects there, some of us large plantations and the Loss of these wou'd be considerable; But when we reflect upon the Ruine of so flourishing so hopeful a province that has for many yeares taken off so much of our English Manufactures, and brought such a large Revenue to the Crown by the Dutys upon Rice, Skins, pitch Tar and other Naval Stores & Commoditys imported from thence, and yet from the first Settlement of it, not put the Crown to one penny Expence, When we reflect upon the loss of so many English mens Lives, Persons who have always behaved themselves dutifully to the Crown and never by any act forfeited their Right as Subjects to a protection and yet are now in imminent Danger of being massacred by Savages and perhaps of being rosted in slow Fires scalp'd stuck with Lightwood and other inexpressible Tortures. When we reflect upon this general Revolt this concerted Defection of the sevl distant Indian Nations, who never yet had policy enough to form themselves into Alliances, and cou'd not in all Probability have proceeded so far at this time had they not been incouraged,

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directed and supply'd by the Spaniards at Fort Augustin, and the French at Moville, and their other Neighbouring Settlements That Carolina being the Frontier of all the other English Settlements upon the Continent, If that should miscarry all the other Collonys wou'd soon be involv'd in the same Ruin, and the whole English Empire, Religion and name be extirpated in America.

These dreadful Considerations, My Lords, supersede our present concern for particular Losses and make us apply to your Lordships for immediate relief and Assistance against this publicke Calamity.

According to our best and latest Advices, Our men, who at first were successfull against the Indians being at last over fatigued and harrass'd with their marches and counter marches in the woods have been defeated in two several Engagements, and the Indians have posted themselves at Edistow River to the Southward, and at Goose Creek to the Northward, in the very midst of our Settlements so that Charles Town, the only defencible place in the Province is in a manner block'd up and the Enemy in the mean time exercises a licentious Cruelty in ravaging burning, murdering and torturing all before them.

The Town being fortify'd may perhaps hold out some months but in what a miserable Condition must the poor People be, drove from their Plantations, imprison'd between mud Walls stifled with excessive heats, appress'd with Famine, sickness, the Desolation of their Country Death of their friends. Apprehension of their own fate, despairing of Relief, and destitute of any hopes to escape. They have indeed sent to New England to buy some arms and ammunition there of which they are in very great Want, and the Lords proprietors have sent Order to their Receiver to apply all their Effects in his hands to the use of the Publick and have likewise given Direction that several hundred pounds worth of Goods, which have been lately remitted to them here, shou'd be sold and the produce thereof immediately sent back towards their Assistance These indeed are great Instances of Generosity and Goodness in their Lordships, but the Enemy is above twelve thousand strong, plentifully furnished with arms, ammunition and provisions and assisted by the French and Spaniards as we have reason to apprehend and the English not above two thousand able to bear arms their negroes not above sixteen thousand, some of which might be armed in our Defence if we had any arms to supply them withall, But in that too there must be great Caution used, lest our Slaves when arm'd might become our Masters.

See this Exigency therefore We have nothing left to do but to throw ourselves at his Majesty's feet on the behalf of that distressed province

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humbly praying by your Lordships. Mediation, that some men arms and ammunition may immediately be sent to their Rescue Immediately, or else it will be too late.

What Quantity of arms and ammunition will be sufficient has already been laid before your Lordships in an Estimate made by Genl Nicholson, We think some Harquebusses and Deakes shou'd be added, besides what the General has mentioned because according to our last accounts, there will be a necessity of erecting Forts near the out settlements for our future Security.

There is a Ship now lying in the River call'd the Industry of one hundred tons Burthen, John Woddin Comander; ready to sail to Carolina, and only stays at our Request for the im̄ediate transportation of such Arms and amunition as his Majesty will graciously please to furnish us withall.

This with some new assurances of a speedy Reinforcement of men, may, we hope, encourage them to hold out a little longer but if this ship shou'd go thither in Ballast and bring them nothing more solid than words or promises of Assistance, We are apprehensive, Despair wou'd suggest to them that their Miseries tho known here, were not duly regarded, and that there was no Prospect of any timely Relief, and that their only Way was at once to desert the Province and each shift for himself. What the consequences of this wou'd be to all America, we leave to your Lordships Consideration.

As for the number of men we think eight hundred will be at least sufficient and that they need not stay there longer than eighteen months. In that time our out ports may be made defensible and our savage enemies pretty well reduced the Country reestablished and the Planters inabled to reap the fruits of their Labours and if there should be any farther Occasion for them we hope the Country by that time may be in a condition to subsist them. It will be impossible for the Country so impoverished at present to do anything towards paying or subsisting the soldiers but if they are supply'd hence with a sufficient Quantity of meal there can be no want of other provisions All Parts of the Country abounding with Plenty of the best sorts of Flesh, Fish, and Fowl.

What Number of Ships will be sufficient to transport these soldiers thither we must submit to your Lordships judgment. We humbly apprehend that it will be proper for his Majesty to order a Proclamation to be published in all the English Colonys prohibiting any Person under Penalty of Death to furnish the Indians that now are, or hereafter shall be at war with us with any manner of warlike Stores, Guns or Gunpowder

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My Lords nothing but the utmost Expedition can save us and besides the immediate Exigency of our Circumstances, this is now a proper Season for Voyages to those Parts We return your Lordps many thanks for the great Concern your Lordships have expressed for the sufferings of his Majesty's Subjects, and your hearty Inclinations to have them speedily relieved; We desire your Lordships to represent these things effectually to his Majesty and to do what lyes in your Lordps Power to have those Succours immediately sent which will be an act of Humanity as well as justice, and put all persons who have any Interest in or wish well to America, under the highest Obligations of Gratitude to your Lordships, and in a most particular manner

Your Lordships most humble servants


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