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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Hooper to [President of the Provincial Congress of North Carolina]
Hooper, William, 1742-1790
November 08, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 898-899

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from William Hooper delegate from North Carolina in the Continental Congress to the Congress at Halifax.

Philadelphia, Novr 8th, 1776.


I take the earliest opportunity to communicate to you a piece of information which I have lately received & which is truly interesting to the Southern States. A Deserter from General Howe's army who has lately arrived in this City, upon his examination says the cause of his desertion was as follows— “That General Howe was planning an expedition against the Southern Colonies, that Draughts for that purpose were immediately to be made from the army at large, that he was apprehensive that it might fall to his lot to be selected—that he was to the southward last fall and suffered so “much from drinking bad water, and from musquetoes & flies, that he would rather go to the Devil than make another expedition thither.” What tends to corroborate this report, is that a large fleet of Transports is now lying at Red Hook in readiness to take in troops and proceed to sea.

They give out that these are intended for Rhode Island, meaning thereby to put us off our guard that we may become a more easy prey to them.

The Convention will pay the respect to this information which they may think it merits & take such measures to prevent the designs of their Enemies as they in their wisdom shall think best.

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I beg my most respectful Compliments to the Members of the Convention and am

Sir with great regard yours & their
most Obedient Humble Servant