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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, and John Penn to the North Carolina Council of Safety
Hooper, William, 1742-1790; Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779; Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788
August 07, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 730-732

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from the North Carolina Delegates in the Continental Congress to the North Carolina Provincial Council.


We wrote you lately by the Post, informing you that we had sent half a Ton of Gunpowder to the Western Inhabitants of North Carolina that they might not want, as far as it was in our power to prevent

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it, the means of defence against the Indians. The Waggoners have been detained here by some private business of their own till now, but this day they propose to set off. You will be the best Judges whether to order a guard for them thro' Guilford or any other part of our Province, as their Route is by the upper Road, which Mr Sharp & Alexander are well acquainted with.

“We send you inclosed a Copy of a letter which this day came to Congress from General Washington. We thot it interesting to you, as it tends to free the Southern Colonies from the apprehensions of immediate injury, & will, from Clinton's removal, give them an opportunity to provide for their defence in case of a Winter Campaign against them. We must most earnestly importune you to compleat the Continental Battalions. You will now have leisure to recruit them, and in our next to you we hope in behalf of Congress to hold forth such Encouragement as will make that Task very easy. The circumstance of being comfortably cloathed, for which we are making all the provision we can, will no doubt weigh much with men to enlist, tho' you will remember the value of the Cloathing is to be deducted from their pay.”

The secure state of your Sea Coast at present gives your Board an opportunity to direct all your attention against your Enemy Indians. The gross infernal breach of faith which they have been guilty of shuts them out from every pretension to mercy, and it is surely the policy of the Southern Colonies (and justice to our fellow whites on our Frontiers not only will vindicate but loudly demands such a Conduct) to carry fire and Sword into the very bowels of their country and sink them so low that they may never be able again to rise and disturb the peace of their Neighbours. To extinguish the very race of them and scarce to leave enough of existence to be a vestige in proof that a Cherokee nation once was, would perhaps be no more than the blood of our slaughtered countrymen might call for. But Christianity, the dear Religion of peace & mercy, should hold our conquering hands, & while we feel the resentment of Men, We ought not to forget the duties of the Christian. Women and Children are not a Conquest worthy the American Arms. Their weakness disarms rage. May their blood never sully our triumphs. But mercy to their Warriors is cruelty to ourselves.

We mean not to sport with their pains or to exercise wanton acts of Cruelty upon them if the Chance of War should throw them into our hands, but to exercise that manly and generous method of

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pursuing them to destruction which our own Customs & the Laws of nations will vindicate. We have been large upon this subject, as we have it much at heart to quiet the apprehensions of our Frontiers, that we may be able to oppose our whole strength to Clinton in the Winter, who will then most certainly pay us a visit.

We are Gentlemen with great Respect,
Your most Obedt Humble Servants,

Philadelphia, August 7th, 1776.