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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Josiah Martin to William Campbell
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
December 01, 1775
Volume 11, Pages 259-261

[Gov. Martin to Lord Wm. Campbell.]

Scorpion Sloop of War
in Rebellion Road. Decr: 1st 1775.

My Lord,

I am honoured with your Excellency's letter of this day's date by the hand of Captain Innes and I feel myself sensibly obliged

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by your Lordship's very kind and flattering expressions of your satisfaction on my arrival in this Province.

The pleasure I enjoy in meeting your Government I owe to the prevalence of your Lordship's instances with Captain Thornbrough to order the Scorpion Sloop of War from her station at No Carolina to this place that reduced me to the necessity of choosing between the alternatives of returning to my very inconvenient and streightened quarters on board the Cruizer Sloop whose little Force did not assure me of protection from the Rebels in that Colony or of coming hither in the Scorpion which I could not think myself justified in detaining there while I was taught to believe that danger so nearly impended or rather so closely pressed upon your Excellency and Captain Thornbrough Amidst this choice of difficulties I determined on the latter part that the Scorpion might give such succour as your immediate exigencies should require and that I might at the same time concert some plan of operations for the restoration of His Majesty's Government in both our Provinces agreable to your Lordships proposition to me by your letter of September on being made acquainted with the foundations of it and make my representations to your Excellency and to Captain Thornbrough on the Expediency of the Scorpion's return to her appointed station in North Carolina where the posture of affairs is so critical and in a state promising so great advantages to Government as to demand every cherishing support and all my most vigilant attention. In this situation of Things your Lordship I am persuaded will not be surprized that my satisfaction on meeting you here is not without alloy, arising from the anxiety and sollicitude of which I cannot possibly divest myself while I am conscious of being out of the sphere of my Duty to the King and when I consider that I am remote from my proper station which becomes every day more interesting and important and wherein I expect very soon to be enabled effectually to promote his Majesty's service.

It can little avail your Excellency or myself to inquire or to know where the now generally prevailing spirit of Rebellion in America originated. It is a melancholy Truth of which no evidence is wanting that at this day it is spread almost universally over this Continent that both our Provinces have received the fatal contagion and that they are deeply involved in all the criminality

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and guilt belonging to it; and I flatter myself your Lordship will do me the justice to believe that I am most heartily willing and disposed to cooperate with your Lordship for the restoration of his Majesty's Government in the one and the other.

My duty to the King as Governor of North Carolina your Lordship knows necessarily makes the reclaiming that Province to obedience to Lawful authority the first object of my attention, next to that my wishes would lead me to make myself as much and as far useful as my humble abilities may render me to His Majesty's services in general and I should be particularly happy to find myself in any situation to be at all conducive to the success of your Lordship's endeavours to restore the authority of His Majesty's Government in this Colony. An impression made here or anywhere else my Lord at this time would produce extensive good effects without doubt and no opportunity of making it ought to be neglected but I am not acquainted with any means your Lordship has to make impression here in the present moment and your Excellency must be sensible from my representations of the state of North Carolina how unfit and unbecoming as well as how unjustifiable it would be in me to desert my Post there and to turn my back upon all my fair prospects of reducing that Colony to order on pretence of watching in your Excellency's Province and Department for possible or even probable remote favourable contingencies of which your Lordship expects to avail yourself for the restoration of the authority of Government here and that I may sincerely hope may accomplish all your good wishes.

As I do not understand that his Maj:tys service can be at all promoted by the Scorpion's stay here at this time and as my Duty indispensibly and pressingly urges my return to North Carolina I have requested Captain Thornbrough to order the Scorpion to repair to her station forthwith, lamenting that I have it not in my power to spend more time with your Excellency at present.

I beg leave to repeat my assurances to your Excellency that I shall be happy on every occasion to cooperate with you for the advancement of His Majesty's Service and to maintain the kindest reciprocations of Friendship by every means of communication and correspondence.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect
My Lord, your Excellency's
most obedient and most humble servant