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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Margaret McLean
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
Volume 19, Pages 942-943

[From Executive Letter Book.]



I am favored with your address, and am sorry that the late orders of Government hath reached so far as to wound your happiness, and perhaps that of the family with which you are connected.

Those orders you allude to were, by a Proclamation, issued in Council & pointed against such persons being late Inhabitants of this State who withdrew and attached themselves to the late enemy during the War, that their return might be prevented lest by their residence in this Country the public Peace again be disturbed.

Major McLean comes immediately within the description of those unfriendly Characters, whom the honor of the State cannot suffer to continue in it. In 1775 he resided here for some time. On some suspicions entertained against him he took an oath1 to the then Council of Safety, that he had no hostile intentions & that he should not take Arms against the Liberties of America; no sooner a favorable opportunity presented to his designs, not being bound by the

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solemn engagements he had plighted, he put himself with some others at the head of his Countrymen in Cumberland who, had they not been checked might have stifled for awhile the struggles of this Country against oppression. We have to lament however, that from that insurrection all the Calamities and miseries of Civil War which have since ravaged this State originated.

As a British Officer Major Maclane ought not to have returned in to any of the United States without leave, as it is a violation of the Treaty, which stipulates the removal of the British Army from the United States as soon as may be which is now effected at New York & in general through the Continent. Privately and without leave the Major returned here, which to his former obnoxious disposition is adding insult to the Government. He cannot therefore obtain your request to remain here, especially on shore, as I am doubtful my authority could not protect him from an enraged, injured people, and I wish him to receive no personal insult. You Madam may rest assured that while you please to continue in the State you will receive its ample protection.

You will pardon the above observations which from delicacy to a lady so nearly interested as yourself, would have been spared; but the nature of your request demands I should be thus explicit.

I am, &c.,


1 This is said to be a mistake by his friends, he pledged his Honor and Word.