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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Minutes of the Wilmington Committee of Safety
Wilmington (N.C.). Committee of Safety
July 07, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 72-74

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[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Proceedings of the Safety Committee at Wilmington.

Friday July 7th 1775.

At an occasional meeting of the Committee.

Present: Cornelius Harnett, Francis Clayton, Archibald Maclaine, James Walker, Jno. Ancrum, Jno. Quince, Jno. Robeson, Wm. Ewins, A. Ronaldson, Peter Malette, Wm. Wilkinson, Adam Boyd, Hy. Toomer, James Tate, Jno. Dubois, Jno. Foster, Jas. Geekie, Francis Brice, Caleb Grainger, Wm. Campbell, Wm. Miller.

The new committee having met agreeable to a summons, proceeded to choose a Chairman and Deputy Chairman: Accordingly Cornelius Harnett Esquire was unanimously chosen Chairman and Mr Francis Clayton, Deputy Chairman.

On motion Resolved unanimously as the opinion of this Committee that the immediate call of a Provincial Convention is a measure absolutely necessary and that the Chairman do recommend the same to Samuel Johnston Esq.

On motion Resolved unanimously that every white man capable of bearing arms, resident in Wilmington shall on or before Monday the 10th instant, enroll himself in one of the two companies there and that every man of the above description, who has not signed the Association, apply to the subscriber, in whose possession for that purpose it is, and subscribe the same. A neglect of the above will be considered by the Committee as a declaration of intentions inimical to the common cause of America; and the Committee further direct, that no master shall prevent his apprentices or servants from complying with the Resolution—to be signed by the Secretary.

On motion, Ordered, that Cornelius Harnett, Arch'd Maclaine, Fr's Clayton, Adam Boyd, and John Ancrum, be a committee of Correspondence till the next monthly meeting of the Committee for the Town and County.

On motion, Ordered, that the Committee of Intelligence draw up a Resolution to hold James Hepburn up to the public, as inimical to the liberties of his country and the common cause of America, which is as follows:

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Whereas, this committee hath received information from undoubted authority, that James Hepburn of Cumberland county, attorney at law, did lately apply to the committee of that county, for orders to raise a Company “under the Militia law, to preserve the Independence of the subjects, and the dignity of the Government,” and afterwards declared that, had the application met with success, the Company was intended to act against the American cause. And, whereas, Oath has this day been made by James Clardy, of Bladen county, that the said James Hepburn, in conversation with the said Clardy, after inquiring what officers had been chosen for the county of Bladen, and asking if the said Clardy was not a committee-man, said, in derision, that these were fine times when the country was to be governed by Committees; and, in order to intimidate the said James Clardy, and other the good people of this Province, falsely and maliciously asserted that there were 50,000 Russians in his Majesty's pay, and that they had embarked, or were to embark immediately, in order to subdue the Americans: and, whereas, it is notorious that the said James Hepburn, hath very lately been with Governor Martin at Fort Johnston, in company with some gentlemen lately settled in this Province, as it is said, and universally believed, to offer their services to the said Governor, and to obtain his orders for raising mercenaries to suppress the noblest struggles of insulted liberty. It is, therefore,

Resolved, unanimously, That the said James Hepburn, is a false scandalous, and seditious incendiary, who, destitute of property and influence, as he is of principle, basely and traitorously endeavors to make himself conspicuous in favor of tyranny and oppression, in hopes, by violating the primary and fundamental laws of nature and the British Constitution, to raise a fortune to his family upon the subversion of Liberty, and the destruction of his country.

Ordered, that this Resolve, and this Preamble upon which it is founded, be published; in order that the Friends to American Liberty may avoid all dealings and intercourse with such a wicked and detestable character.

The committee then adjourned till the next occasional meeting.


Wilmington, 7th July, 1775.


We could have wished you had sent us a few more copies of the printed letter sent by our delegates to the several committees in this

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province, as we have been obliged to make several MS. copies for the sake of dispatch.

The resolve for appointing a fast we had printed and distributed last week, even to some of the western counties.

We should have imagined that Mr Berry would rather have concealed than published. Genl Gage's letter but as it was known, we must approve of your publication.

Would to God the accounts you sent us of the battle may be true.

It furnishes a new reason for holding a Convention, and we earnestly entreat you to push that matter, that the province may immediately be put in a state of defence. We are with respect Gentlemen your obedient servants,

Committee of Intelligence.
To the Committee at New Bern.