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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Josiah Martin to Welbore Ellis, Baron Mendip
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
March 07, 1782
Volume 22, Pages 616-618


So. Molton Street,
7th March, 1782.


I have the honor to represent to you that there are many of the Scotch Highland Emigrants who had settled in North Carolina before the Rebellion, as well as many natives of that Province of whom I humbly apprehend to be fit objects of the care and attention of Government, and as there is a new Commander in Chief appointed over His Majesty’s Forces in North Carolina, I consider this the proper Season for offering them to your consideration that the General now going to that Continent may receive such recommendations of these loyal and suffering people as their fidelity and attachment and their sacrifices to their duty to their King and Country may appear to deserve.

You will find Sir, in the Earl of Dartmouth’s correspondence with me as Govr. of North Carolina, that in the year 1775, I was empowered to raise and embody the King’s Loyal subjects and authorize to promise them the pay and every other encouragement allowed to His Majesty’s Forces. In consequence of this power and encouragement at a Crisis I thought favorable, a considerable number of Men was embodied early in the year 1776, the greater part Highlanders, which being misconducted was defeated by the Rebels and the Officers made Prisoners and sent to Philadelphia, where they remained long in Gaol; suffering every species of insult and hardship. From time to time I prevailed with Sir Henry Clinton, after he succeeded to the Chief command, to exchange some of these people, but a part of them remained Prisoners ’til the year 1780. As they were exchanged Sir Henry Clinton allowed them to receive half pay computed from the time of their engaging in the Service, and upon this

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pittance they subsisted with difficulty at New York, where the necessaries of life had become exorbitantly dear

When the Expedition against Charlestown was undertaken the Commander in Chief ordered the people to accompany it, in hopes of opportunity to employ them to good purpose, if a communication should be opened into North Carolina With this view they attended the operations of Lord Cornwallis and upon his entering North Carolina last year, they used under his Lordship’s encouragement, their best endeavours to raise a regiment of their countrymen, of which I was to be the nominal Commander by their desire Our Halt was of necessity short in the Scotch settlements, and did not afford them time to make great progress in the business of recruiting; they, however, made a beginning and before the evacuation of Wilmington, had raised one Hundred Men who were formed into two Companies and are now doing duty at Charlestown. The Officers of these Companies are thus, Sir, for the present provided for, but the rest have only a temporary provision of half pay which Genl. Lestie had been so good to allot them, or which had been before assigned them.

Many, I believe I may say most if not all of these people, Sir, had wives and families, dwellings, and means of living in North Carolina, all of which they abandoned, or from principles of Loyalty and attachment to their Foreign virtues, which I am persuaded, will give them reasonable claim to your consideration and to your recommendation of them to Sir Guy Carleton, and I therefore, Sir, do most humbly and earnestly solicit it in their behalf.

The Return I have the honor to inclose herewith, shows the footing these people are upon at present, besides them Sir, there may be others equally deserving, whose names I do not recollect for want of my papers, which were taken by the enemy with all my baggage last Spring at Sea, between Charleston and Wilmington, but the Commander in Chief will readily gain a knowledge of them all

I am bound, Sir, to mention particularly that Captain Angus Campbell, whose name is borne upon the Return and who is a very worthy man, has not received any half-pay ’til since the evacuation of Wilmington, which was owing to his absence on Service in Georgia that bettered his pretentions I am therefore, to express my hopes that he will be allowed the half-pay which his fellow sufferes have received from the time of his captivity in 1776, he being in

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great distress and that he and his brother Officers will be put upon some Establishment that may enable them to support themselves. Mr. Samuel Bryant, William and Robert Fields and John Spurgin in particular, as well as other Inhabitants of North Carolina, have likewise real and great claims to the notice of the Government and there are many, besides some of the Officers borne upon the enclosed Return People of that Province, who have just demands on Government for Provisions and Stores furnished to the Loyalists embodied in the year 1776. Of these I had several accounts attested upon Oath, which I lost in my baggage above mentioned; and I have no doubt, Sir, that you will think it consonant to justice to direct these Claims to be inquired into as far as may be forthwith and adjusted, and all of them whenever the State of the Country admits of it.

I have thought it my indispensable duty, Sir, to make this representation to you in justice to the Publick, as well as to the individuals concerned, and I trust my motives will plead my apology for so long an intrusion.

I am, &c.,