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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Hewes to Samuel Johnston
Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779
January 06, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 390-391

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Joseph Hewes delegate in the Continental Congress to Samuel Johnston.

Philadelphia 6th Jany 1776.

Dear Sir,

I wrote to you two days ago by two Ministers of the Gospel who are sent by order of Congress to the Western parts of North Carolina, where some of the inhabitants we are told are pursuing measures hostile to the friends of America, they are to endeavour to prevail on those people by reason and argument to become active in support of those rights and privileges which belong to them in common with the rest of the Inhabitants, I hope their well meant endeavours will be useful to our Province,

In your favor of the 5th of November the only one I have received from you I observe the plan you adopted to get arms and ammunition and your wish that the general Association had not been infringed. I have often wished the same thing, the Congress having adopted and pursued a similar mode and on a much larger scale, however, altho we have not yet reaped much advantage from it. I have altered my mind on that subject and am now perfectly reconciled to it from a Conviction that our utmost efforts in every way will barely furnish us with a sufficient quantity of those necessary articles.

Some of the Zealous City politicians are alarmed at the arrival of a Lord Drummond who came to Town a few days ago. it seems he is son to the Earl of Perth, has lived several years in New York Government, is possessed of a Landed Estate in New Jersey, went to England in November 1774, came out to Boston in a Man of War in August last, from thence in the same conveyance soon after

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to New York. Had he left the Title of Lord behind him he might have walked the streets of this City a long time unnoticed, now the Eyes of all are upon him and consider him as a Suspicious Character. In private company I am told he says he was several months in London and frequently in company with Lord North, that the ministry are heartily tired of the controversy between Great Britain and the Colonies, but the pride of the people of England will not suffer them to relax, he thinks the matter might be easily settled; if America would consent to give a very small sum annually so as to save appearances, England would repeal all the obnoxious acts and give up more than we ask, he says, Lord North was astonished at the Union and Strength of the Colonies, declared he did not think it was possible for such things to be brought about, that he had no idea of such resistence. Some people think this Lord is employed to make overtures to the Congress, others imagine he is only to sound some of the leading Members & endeavour to find out the whole scope design and Views of the Congress, certain it is he has had private conferences with several Characters of the first distinction among us, I dont find he has yet Closeted any of the wise men of the East, however I am not certain of it, my indisposition has kept me from Congress for two days past in which time I have seen very few members.

A report prevails this day in Town that by some late advices received to the eastward from England the Ministry are determined to send a large Army to America early in the Spring and land it in this Province in order to subdue it at all events considering it the most active in the present Rebellion, this like many other reports, the talk of a day, wants confirmation, tho all accounts agree (except what comes from the Lord above mentioned) that administration will make one grand effort in the Spring to subdue the Colonies, therefore it becomes necessary for us to provide for the event, we have Fifty three Regiments raised and raising each to consist of 728 men officers included, to this Strength you may add twice the number of Regiments of well regulated Militia, some of our Regiments are in Canada and more must be sent there. I will trespass no longer upon your patience than to request you to present my Compliments to Mrs Johnston and family.

I am Dear Sir
Your mo. obed. hum Serv