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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Nathanael Greene
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
November 1782
Volume 16, Page 720

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough, Nov., 1782.


Sundry affidavits have been submitted to me of late from Bladen County wherein are contained the charges against Captain Robert Raiford of the Continental Line of this State of being at the head of a riot which has endangered the Civil Government of that County. That at the last County Court held in Bladen, Captain Raiford led a Mob of about thirty armed persons into the Court House while the Court was sitting, and furiously attacked Mr. McLain, Lawyer of eminence in this State, at the bar with a naked sword, beat and dangerously wounded him, unarmed in the exercise of his profession, before the Court; under the pretence that “the said Maclain had given him sometime before abusive language, and was then defending a Tory” the Court endeavouring to quell the disturbance. The Clerk at length was cut down, and the Court dispersed. The rioters then proceeded to the Street where they undertook to elect field officers for the County who accepted of their new appointments, and since marched about the Country armed under the color of apprehending Tories without any order from a commanding officer for this purpose, to the great Terror of the Good Citizens of that part of the State. The Judges of the Superior Court have issued their Warrant against Captain Raiford and his principal coadjutors and the Sheriff is directed to call for the aid of the Militia if necessary in apprehending them but Captain Raiford had previous thereto marched to your head Quarters and cannot be had without your interposition. I am therefore Sir to request that you will please to order him to attend Wilmington Superior Court, to be held the first of December next, where he may stand his trial, and give satisfaction for the wound he has given the Civil Government of this State, which was his duty to have supported.

I have the honor, &c.,