Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from an inhabitant of North Carolina to an inhabitant of England [Extract]
No Author
December 29, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 370-371

[Reprinted from the American Archives. Vol. 4. P. 476.
Extract of a Letter received at Hull, in England, from a gentleman in North Carolina, Dated December 29, 1775.

Our Provincial Convention, at their last meeting appointed Committees of Safety, consisting of thirteen members of each of the six districts of the Province; and these Committees, by authority of the Convention, elected a Provincial Council, consisting likewise of thirteen. The Legislative, Judicial, and Executive powers of Government, are now entirely in the hands of the said Council and Committees. Governor Martin is still on board the Cruizer, Sloop-ofWar, from which he issued a proclamation, forbidding a meeting of the Convention, which they resolved was a false, scandalous, scurrilous, and malicious libel, tending to stir up tumults and insurrections, dangerous to the peace of His Majesty's Government, &c., and ordered it to be burnt by the common hangman, which was accordingly done. They appointed two Treasurers, and ordered them to draw on the Continental Congress at Philadelphia for one hundred thousand dollars, for the pay and maintenance of three thousand Minute-Men; and to replace that sum, they have issued paper bills of credit for one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and laid penalities on those who should speak disrespectfully of the bills, or offer them at less than eight shillings for a dollar.

The Minute-Men are to be trained every day, Sundays not excepted; the uniform is a hunting-shirt, leggins, or splatter dashes, with garters. To encourage the supplying ourselves with what we used to import from Great Britain, they have voted large premiums to any person or persons who shall erect furnaces for refining iron, slitting mills, steel furnaces, and also for the making of cotton cards, needles and pins; the refining of sulphur, and making saltpetre and gunpowder in this Colony.

The following is a copy of a Test drawn up by the Convention, signed by themselves, the Provincial Council, Committees of Safety, &c., &c., Viz:

“We, the subscribers, professing our allegiance to the King, and acknowledging the Constitutional Executive power of Government, do solemnly profess, testify and declare, that we do absolutely believe that neither the Parliament of Great Britain, nor any constituent

-------------------- page 371 --------------------
member thereof, have a right to impose taxes on these Colonies to regulate the internal policy thereof; and that all attempts, by fraud or force, to establish and exercise such claims and powers, are violations of the peace and security of the people, and ought to be resisted to the utmost. And, that the people of this Province, singly and collectively, are bound by the acts and resolutions of the Continental and Provincial Congress; because, in both they are freely represented by persons choses by themselves.

“And we do solemnly and sincerely promise and engage, under the sanction of virtue, honour, and the sacred love of liberty and our country, to maintain and support all and every the acts, resolutions and regulations of the said Continental and Provincial Congresses, to the utmost of our power and abilities.

“In testimony whereof,” &c.

The former1 Convention voted fifty thousand pounds for raising and embodying one thousand men, to be employed in the common cause, which were accordingly raised. A body of five hundred of them are now encamped near Wilmington. It is reported that many of them desert.

We have but little communication with the neighbouring Provinces owing to the distracted state of the whole Continent; and what we hear is not always to be depended upon. The last accounts from Virginia say, that Lord Dunmore does not lose ground; and since his proclamation, offering freedom to indented servants and slaves, many people have joined him to save their property. He seized a printing press at Norfolk, which he employs for his own purposes; and, by the means of Negroes and others, continues to circulate his proclamations and intelligence through the country. It is said that Colonel Henry, with a large body of men is gone against him; and a General from the American camp, at Cambridge, in Massachusetts Bay, is expected on the same service.


1 Error.