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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Deposition of John Martin concerning the destruction of Fort Johnston
Martin, John
September 04, 1775
Volume 10, Page 133

John Martin Commander of the Ship Liberty, Property of and belonging to the Port of Belfast in the Kingdom of Ireland, being duly sworn this 4th September 1775 on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith,

That he the Deponent a day or two before the destruction of Fort Johnston by the People headed by John Ashe heard them gasconading and boasting of their intended expedition to destroy Fort Johnston, His Majesty's Sloop Cruizer and the Transport on board which Captain Collet and the Garrison of Fort Johnston was embarked, which last seemed to be the principal object of their rage. That on Monday morning the 17th day of July last about 2 o'clock a certain person named Smith came on board the Deponents Ship lying at the Flatts and asked for the Master. That the Deponent being informed thereof by his Mate, rose from his bed and directing a light to be struck desired the Messenger to walk down into the Cabin, where he delivered a letter to the Deponent signed John Ashe Col. and directed to all Masters of Ships then lying at the Flatts the substance of which was that Col. Ashe required them to send all the boats and men they could spare immediately to assist in the glorious enterprise they had in hand. That Smith the bearer of the letter told the Deponent they were preparing Fire Rafts and wanted the Ships boats and hands to tow them down the river. That the Deponent after perusing the Letter several times told Smith the messenger that he had business enough for his Boats and Men that he could not answer for the Disposition of his People but believed they would not willingly engage in the projected Expedition in which opinion he was afterwards confirmed by the unanimous Declaration of his Crew.