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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
September 18, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 804-806

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


We wrote the honourable the Council of Safety by Mr Hayward who left this sometime since. We then inclosed you a Resolve of the Continental Congress directing Brigadier General Moore with two of the Continental battalions which were raised in the State of North Carolina to proceed to New York with all possible expedition.

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A further Revision of that subject together with some private information by letters of the present state of Our Country have induced your delegates to obtain an alteration of that Resolve, from which it will appear that the movement of our Troops is now left to the discretion of your honourable Body, and considering that you are now engaged in a war with the savages on your frontiers, and have nothing to expect from the disposition of the late insurgents but hostilities as soon as their fears have so far subsided as not to restrain them from such attempts, We are induced to hope that you will retain within yourselves the Regular troops as they seem to be absolutely necessary for our own security. And it may be viewed almost as a certainty that General Howe instead of keeping his Army in Winter Quarters idle will make a formidable diversion in a Southern Climate which will call forth your utmost exertions to oppose with success.

We need say nothing to you who have so well considered and digested the matters to induce you to compleat to their full number the Continental Battalions which have been raised in our State. The inclosed system agreed upon by Congress for the modelling a new Army holds forth such encouragement that we flatter ourselves you will find no difficulty in carrying into execution that part of the plan which has been allotted to your share. The Bounty proposed is liberal and aided with the stimulus which every honest American does or ought to feel effectually to establish the liberties of America upon a pure and solid basis we hope to have an opportunity soon to congratulate you, that it has obtained for you an additional force which will effectually baffle the future efforts of our Enemies.

You will observe that in addition to the six Regiments already raised by you, you are impowered to raise three more. Should you think yourselves inadequate to so large a number you will as early as possible represent such your incapacity to Congress who will no doubt make such alteration as will suit your circumstances, tho' we hope that you will find no difficulty in complying with this Resolve to the full as you will no doubt be often called upon hereafter to aid the weakness of South Carolina and Georgia, and the calling forth the militia is so expensive and burdensome that it ought as much as possible to be avoided.

Would it not be advisable to draw your scattered troops together as soon as possible that they may be ready to co-operate as soon as their whole strength may be required to oppose the Enemy. We fear

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the effects of a Southern Climate upon those which General Lee has led to Georgia. What may be his views we cannot ascertain but surely the object ought to be of the last necessity to justify a measure which must, even without an opposition from an enemy, involve the loss of so many brave men from the Inclemency of the season, fatigue & our Troops being almost naked.

We shall write you very fully by Mr Hewes who leaves this in a few days. In the mean time we beg leave to subscribe ourselves with all possible respect Gentlemen,

Your most Obedt Humble Servts,

Philadelphia Sept 18th 1776.