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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Josiah Martin to George Sackville Germain, Viscount Sackville
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
January 23, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 367-368

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[B. P. R. O. America and West Ind: B. T. Vol. 313, P. 335., No. 10.]

New York, Janry. 23rd, 1778.

My Lord:

I have the honor to acquaint your Lordship that Mr. Cornell a member of the Council of No Carolina lately visited that Country under the sanction of a flag of truce and is returned hither having had the good fortune from a concurrence of circumstances to rescue not only his family but a considerable property out of the hands of the Rebels, a success far exceeding his expectation after the uncourteous and hostile reception he at first found among them.

This Gentleman reports, my Lord, that Mr. Alexander, Mr. Culloch and Mr. William Palmer had taken the Oath of Allegiance to the Rebel State which the other Members of the Council who remain there had to that time found means to elude.

From the intercourse Mr. Cornell had with some of the common people during his stay there he formed an opinion that they were heartily tired of their sufferings and that it would be found very difficult if not impossible to raise the contingent of men required by the Congress from that Province for the ensuing campaign. Reports from Virginia say that like difficulties will occur there from the same causes. The Leaders in Rebellion in Carolina Mr. Cornell informs me hold nevertheless a language of confidence with regard to the Establishment of their system of Independence but he says he thought he could discern at the same time that the greatest zealots among them were not without their doubts of it. On his arrival at New Bern he found the Rebels highly elated at the defeat of General Burgoyne's Army which exultation was succeeded by equal depression on the receipt of New of the Reduction of the rebel Forts on the Delewar by His Majesty's Forces.

The contemptible Port of Ocracock according to Mr. Cornell's information has become a great channel of supply to the Rebels while the more considerable Ports of the Continent have been watched by the King's Ships. They have received through it he says and continued to receive at that inlet when he was there so lately as the beginning of this month very considerable importations

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of the necessaries they most wanted for the purpose of carrying on their Warfare from the Ports of France and the French West India Islands. This, my Lord, was reported by him immediately on his arrival to Commodore Hotham the Naval Commander here who will no doubt take all proper measures for shutting up that Avenue of succour to the Rebels.

I have the honor to inclose to your Lordship a New York Gazette containing a plan of Confederation for the Colonies in Rebellion lately exhibited by the Congress and a copy of a Law of the Rebel State of North Carolina calculated for the confiscation of the Property of His Majesty's faithful subjects there, both brought hither by Mr. Cornell.

Many Refugees not less than one hundred and fifty, have arrived here from North Carolina since the month of August last being for the most part mercantile people and natives of Scotland, among them, Mr. John Hamilton and Mr. Macleod the former a merchant of considerable Note long settled there and the latter a Presbyterian clergyman of good character who have formed a very spirited and in my humble opinion a well concerted plan by drawing out of that Province for His Majesty's service the loyal Highlanders of whom they have two hundred and seventy odd men actually under the most solemn engagements to join them on a summons. These Gentlemen my Lord are gone to Philadelphia with my best recommendations to submit to the Commander in Chief their Plan which whether it be deemed practical or not discovers a very commendable zeal and spirit in the projectors.

The provincial Officers of North Carolina made Prisoners by the Rebels in that Country in the beginning of the year 1776, drop in here now and then by one's and two's as they find means to escape from captivity.

I have &c:


1. New York Gazette.
2. Copy of a Rebel Act.

Rec'd 18 March.