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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth to Josiah Martin
Dartmouth, William Legge, Earl of, 1731 - 1801
September 15, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 247-248

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. No. 222.]
Letter from the Earl of Dartmouth to Governor Martin.

Whitehall 15th Septr 1775.


I have received from the hands of Mr Burgwine your dispatches numbered 34, 35, 36, 37 & 38, the two first being Duplicates, the originals of which you mention to have been trusted to Mr Schaw, who has not yet appeared.

The King gives full Credit to your Assurances of the unavoidable necessity you was under of seeking refuge on Board the Cruizer Sloop of War, and the reasons you assign for submitting to the more

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humiliating Disgrace of seeing His Majesty's Fort Johnston burnt by the Rebels in Gun shot of His Majesty's Ship, deserve attention.

In such a situation I must confess to you, that I think you are too sanguine in your expectations of being able, if properly supported in the manner you suggest to induce a large party of the Inhabitants of North Carolina, to take up arms in support of Government, but as you speak with so much confidence upon the subject it has been thought proper to order 10,000 Stands of Arms and 6 Light Field Pieces, to be immediately sent to the Commander in Chief with directions that if upon later and consequently better intelligence of the State of North Carolina, he shall judge it practicabls to effect what you suggest, he do, provided His Majesty's service in other respects will admit of it, send a Detachment of his Army, not less than one complete Battalion to Cape Fear under the Command of an able and Intelligent Officer, and with the Arms and Artillery I have mentioned.

If these directions should be carried into Execution and the measure proposed take place, it will be your duty to exert yourself with all possible vigour and activity in order to secure its success, and I am persuaded you will find that the Power and Authority of your Commission as Governor are fully sufficient for that purpose without restoring you to the Military Rank you thought fit to sell, which I must again repeat is a request that cannot be complied with as it would be an injury to all those officers, who have now that Rank. With regard therefore to the Highland Emigrants from North Britain, you will not fail to pay a due attention to what I have recommended to you upon that subject in my letters numbered 15 and 19, and in case Lieut Colonel Maclaine's plans should fail the next most desirable object will be, to engage those Emigrants as Recruits for the American Army in General.

You certainly have done well in suspending Mr Dry from his seat at the Council without communicating your reasons to the other Members, and I make no doubt that the Lords of the Treasury to whom I shall communicate your Letter on that subject will remove him from his office as Collector.

I am, &c.,