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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to John Alexander Lillington
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
February 02, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 181-182

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Salem, February 2nd, 1782.


I find from several applications and from Colonel Martin’s representation

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to me that the strict and vigorous execution of his order relative to the removal of the families of such as have gone off with the Enemy from the District of Wilmington may be attended with circumstances more severe in some instances than he intended. If good policy requires those unhappy people to be removed whose husbands and relatives are inimical to us, it does not preclude us from doing it in the mode which may least expose those whose age, sex or condition may intitle them to the regard of a generous humane people, which I hope we shall always be considered. I therefore request you that in the execution of that order you insist only on those to remove who have the means of doing it with convenience, until some measures can be taken for inducing the Enemy to send vessels for them or their absolute refusal shall justify to the world our vigor.

I do not mean to preclude you from exercising your discretion, agreeable to the orders given you by Colonel Martin, but wish to recommend to you that humanity, to which I am persuaded you are disposed and which is becoming to our national character.

I am Sir, with esteem,
Your Obedt. H’ble Servt.,