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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Alexander Leslie
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
May 12, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 685-686

[From Executive Letter Book.]

North Carolina, May 12th, 1782.


I am favored with your correspondence of the 10th of April last, respecting certain persons under sentence of death in Salisbury Gaol, and I can assure you that your information was undoubtedly true, that Samuel Bryant, John Hampton, and Nickolas White were those persons whom you were pleased to style a Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel and a Captain of the Royal North Carolina Militia. On the report of the Honble. the Judges of the Superior Court of this State, I am to acquaint you Sir, that these persons being Citizens were convicted by their Country in the due form of Law of the crime of high Treason against the same, and would have been executed pursuant to their sentence, had not an exchange been proposed, which I am authorised to ratify on the terms that have or may be concluded by you and Major General Greene. Permit me Sir, to inform you the menace of retaliation denounced against the Citizens of this State who should hereafter fall into your power hath

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had but little weight in this transaction as no British Commission shall sanctify the atrocious crimes and villainies of our revolted Citizens whether committed in or out of the Military Line, or protect such from the vengeance of the State when it is ready to fall upon them in just punishment. The characters of these persons standing generally fair except in the case of their revolt, were the principal inducement to spare them for the above purpose.

I am authorized further to inform you Sir, that a sufficient number of persons who have been in arms against this State and who are charged with Military offences only against the same, will be sent on to General Greene’s Camp, to be exchanged for our Captive Citizens with you, provided you or your successor, the Commanding Officer at Charles Town, shall first give explicit assurance that you or He will exchange our said Citizens now in Captivity or who may hereafter be captured on the terms aforesaid. And if the proposition hereby made is not accepted in a reasonable time after this notification, Be pleased to receive this information, that the Treason Laws of this State will have their full effect.

I have the Honor, &c.,