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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Josiah Martin to Maurice Moore
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
January 11, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 398-399

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. Vol. 222.]
Letter from Governor Martin to Maurice Moore Esq.

Scorpion Sloop of War in Cape Fear River,
January 11th 1776.


I have received your Letter of the 9th inst: by Mr London, which as the letter of an individual upon a very great and important public business, I answer as such, wishing at the same time you had informed me whether you have any, and what authority from the People of this Country to desire an opportunity through the General Assembly to express their duty to their Sovereign, and desire of His Majesty's favour, & to renounce the design of independance; as it would have brought the consideration of such a measure as calling the Assembly more immediately to my mind.

The King's speech of the 26th day of October last to which your letter refers, is full of magnanimity and benificence, and with the utmost stretch of tenderness widely opens the gates of mercy to receive His Majesty's deluded subjects in America, who shall return to their allegiance and to obedience to lawful Government. On my part I do assure you I shall be most happy to give the People of this Country every opportunity to avail themselves of the royal benignity; but I can make to myself no rule of conduct upon Lord North's speech seen by Dr Cobham in a Newspaper, nor propose any particular terms of accommodation, other than submission to the constitutional powers of Government except what were contained in the resolution of the House of Commons in the last Session of Parliament.

If the People of this Colony are desirous to return to their duty to their Sovereign, they will furnish me with the best evidence of such good inclinations by instantly dissolving all the combinations of rebellion among them; disbanding the men they maintain in arms to resist His Majesty's authority (who are now actually employed in doing the most violent and oppressive injureis to the King's loyal and faithfull people) and by restoring the powers they have usurped to the channels of lawful Government; that are preliminary stipulations on which I shall insist previous to the consideration

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of calling an Assembly, and which a People disposed to return to their duty cannot hesitate to comply with.

While I am upon the pleasing subject of reconciliation with you, I cannot forbear adding one word more. I am in spite of all the misrepresentations of passion and party as sincere a friend to the real interests of America, upon constitutional principles, as the most zealous of her patriot sons. I therefore tremble for the ruin to which they are precipitating her, they are urging on a most dreadful crisis, that must involve this Continent in calamities beyond the compute of human imagination: I wish therefore in tenderness to the People of this Country in whose fate I feel myself more peculiarly interested, that they may consider timely and without a moments delay, the dangerous principles on which they stand, and of the glory and advantage they may obtain by taking the lead in returning to their duty, and restoring peace to this unhappy land.

Perhaps a personal communication with you may lead me to a better Knowledge of the present dispositions of the People of this Country than I can receive from your letter. And if you are of that opinion I shall lay every avenue open and give every facility to the meeting any propositions which may tend to the restoration of Peace to this Province.

I am Sir, &c.,