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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from John Ross Dunn concerning his imprisonment
Dunn, John Ross, d. 1783
September 11, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 797-798

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
The Humble Remonstrance of John Dunn To The Honourable Samuel Ashe Esquire, President, & To the Honourable Members of Council, now in Salisbury Assembled—


That on the last day of July in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy five, Your Remonstrant in Consequence of A premeditated Scheme and Combination previously entered into by William Kennon, Adlai Osburn, Samuel Spencer and others, their Associates, Caused your Remonstrant to be Taken into Custody by a number of Armed Persons, who were first Illegally sworn in private for that purpose and by force was Compelled from his own house in Salisbury to the house of Matthew Lock Esquire, where he was detained many hours in the Night, as a prisoner under a specious pretext that Some Gentleman from South Carolina were Desirous of seeing him, that after some time a Body of other armed men arrived from the Counties of Tryon and Mecklenburg, to whom your Remonstrant was delivered over in custody, who conveyed him to Mecklenburg it being pretended, that the Committee of that County was Desirous to Examine him with regard to some matters which should be by them Enquired into. That notwithstanding the Importunities and Earnest Scolicitories of several Gentn from Salisbury, Members of the Committee, and the then Council of Safety, who offered themselves as Security and to be bound in any Sum for my appearance the next day before the Committee in Salisbury. Notwithstanding I was forced away the same night to Charlotte, where we arrived the next day, and having Petitioned to have a hearing before the Committee of that County which was likewise Refused, and an Armed force of about Sixty horsemen were Ordered to Convey me to Camden, from there to the Congress in South Carolina and thence to Charles Town, where your Remonstrant hath been detained a prisoner for upwards of Twelve months, Contrary to Every Principal of Justice and humanity, and Contrary to a certain Resolve of the General Congress and in Direct Violation of those Rights and Privileges which Americans contend with Great Britain for at this Time.

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Your Remonstrant Now Prays that you would in Justice to himself and his family who have Suffered Greatly on Account of this unwarrantable and arbitrary Treatment enquire into the Same. Your Remonstrant being Desirous to Acquit himself of those false and Groundless Charges, laid against him previous to any Oath being Tendered to him, In order to Satisfy your Honours and the world that he is not in any wise Guilty of such matters as have been falsely suggested or alledged against him, by which he hopes to Appear in a Different light than what has been represented of him, and for a further Confirmation of his Innocence, Your Remonstrant is Ready and willing to be Interrogated to Answer on Oath as the Honble Board thinks it Necessary, and your Remonstrant will pray.


Sepr 11th 1776.