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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Johnston to the Wilmington Committee of Safety
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
July 21, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 116-117

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Samuel Johnston to the Committee at Wilmington.

[Edenton] 21st July 1775.


Immediately on advice of the prorogation of the Assembly I consulted such of the members as happened to be in town on their way to New Bern about fixing a time for the meeting of the Convention who were unanimous that the 20th of August was as soon as due notice could be conveyed to the several Counties. I concurred

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the more readily with them as Mr Hewes in his last letter expressed his desire that Mr Harvey should summon the Convention to meet some time in August. Had it not been expected by every one that the Assembly would have met at New Bern on the 12th of this month the Convention might have met earlier but I did not think myself at liberty to alter the place appointed by the last Convention and that many members of the Assembly would probably be chosen to serve in Convention made it I thought impossible that they should both meet at the same time and the uncertainty how long the session [of the Assembly] would last rendered it difficult to fix on a time for a meeting of the Convention. Neither did I imagine that anything in the Letter from our Delegates precluded us from meeting in Convention before the rising of the Congress but it was apparent that a Convention must necessarily meet in August and if it had likewise met in July I am afraid the second meeting would have been too thin to have answered any important purpose to the publick; as it is I have the greatest reason to hope for a very numerous meeting. I took the liberty from a hint given me by Mr Hooper to recommend to the several Counties to increase the number of their Delegates, but this is a matter entirely discretionary. A vessel from New York to this place brought over two officers who left at the Bar to go to New Bern, they are both Highlanders, one named McDonnel the other McCloud. They pretend they are on a visit to some of their countrymen on your river but I think there is reason to suspect their errand of a base nature. The Committee of this town have wrote to New Bern to have them secured. Should they escape there I hope you will keep a good lookout for them. I doubt not the prudence of the Gentlemen with you will have suggested the necessity of securing the Highlanders and that proper measures have been adopted for that purpose.