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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Ralph McNair
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
January 21, 1784
Volume 17, Page 10

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough, January 21st, 1784.


I am favored with your Letter from Philadelphia together with one from General Greene in your behalf. I am sorry to inform you that the Treason Law of this State prevents my granting you the passport & leave to return as you request.

It is not my business to criminate you on the part you have taken in the late contest between Britain and America—but only suggest you have been decisive in the choice. You have deserted the Country in which you say you wished to have spent your Days. What satisfaction can you have in returning to her in her triumphant prosperity, when your late principal desire is frustrated which was to subjugate her to British depotism? Let your own feelings be the Judge.

From my former acquaintance with you I am still your personal friend, but it is out of my power to grant your request. An application must be made to the General Assembly, who will consider your case, & perhaps will indulge your return, but of this I am doubtful, as the sense of the last Assembly was generally to exclude all British refugees from returning to the State.

However, the services you rendered our prisoners on Long Island have some weight & should you send forward a Petition to that body, I will lay the same before them, together with General Greene's Letter in your Favor at their meeting on the first of April next.

I am Sir, &c.,