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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Williamson and William Todd to Richard Caswell
Williamson, William; Todd, William
October 08, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 646-647

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

May it please your Excellency:

We are extremely sorry that we are under the necessity of troubling you again about our situation. Nothing but the distress we are reduced to, and a firm reliance on your Excellency's humanity and benevolence could have induced us to do it. Altho' it is our misfortune to differ in opinion with the people in this Country, yet none of us (subscribers to this letter) have ever done any thing either to prejudice or interrupt the success of the cause for which they contend. After refusing the oath of allegiance to the State, we used our utmost endeavours to leave it, but after all our efforts, and considerable expense we found it impossible to get away, before the expiration of the Term limited by the Assembly. We therefore waited upon your Excellency when you was so good as to grant us your protection, which we deemed perfectly sufficient to screen us from any ill usage or imprisonment, 'till such time as your Excellency had an opportunity of calling the Council.

When we were at Newbern we also agreed with Mastr. Hamilton for our passage to the West Indies, conceiving that a necessary step in order to prevent our breach of the oath we had given to depart the State as soon as possible, which was the mode adopted by the Magistrates of this County at the last Court, in lieu of requiring security from the Delinquents as ordered by the Assembly.

We therefore depending on your Excellency's protection, and anxious to see our wives and our children once more before we left them, returned to this County, where we remained but a few days, before the Magistrates thought proper to confine us in jail. This step entirely puts it out of our power to leave the Country by Mr. Hamilton, as we intended, and as there is no appearance of another opportunity, & some of us are but scarce of money, and are liable to forfeit the amount of our passage with him, we beg and hope that your Excellency will be pleased to take such steps as will enable us to go with that vessel. We have already offered to give the Magistrates of this County, security for our departing the

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State, with Mr. Hamilton, but they insist on our appearance at the ensuing Court, which unfortunately, happens too late for that opportunity, so that we have no hope or dependence but on your Excellency's clemency and power, which we beg you would be pleased to exert in our behalf, and the obligation shall ever gratefully be acknowledged by your Excellency's most Obdt. & humble Servts.


Cumberland Jail
8th Oct. 1777.