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conduct they have adopted, and see the determined spirit of the nation to maintain its constitutional rights, they will avail themselves of the means which the justice and benevolence of the supreme Legislature have held out to them of being restored to the King’s grace and peace, and that a happy and lasting reconciliation and union will be effected. And I have the satisfaction to acquaint you that, in order to accelerate this desirable object, the proper steps have been taken for passing a commission under the great seal, in conformity to the last section but one of that act; and that the Commissioner, or Commissioners, to be appointed for that purpose, will have full power to inquire into the state and condition of the Colonies, and to confer with proper persons upon such points as may be necessary for effecting a restoration of the publick tranquillity.

I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To Deputy Governour Eden.

The clause in the Act of Parliament, passed the 19th of DECEMBER last, which ascertains the powers of the Commissioners, is in these words:

“Provided, that in order to encourage all well-affected persons in any of the said Colonies to exert themselves in suppressing the Rebellion therein, and to afford a speedy protection to those who are disposed to return to their duty, it shall and may be lawful to and for any person or persons, appointed and authorized by his Majesty, to grant a pardon or pardons to any number or description of persons, with such exceptions therefrom as shall seem fit and reasonable, by Proclamation in his Majesty’s name; to declare any Colony or Province, Colonies or Provinces, or any County, Town, Port, District, or place, in any Colony or Province, to be at the peace of his Majesty; and from and after the issuing of any such Proclamation in any of the aforesaid Colonies or Provinces, or if his Majesty shall be graciously pleased to signify the same by his Royal Proclamation, then, from and after the issuing of such Proclamation, this act, with respect to such Colony or Province, Colonies or Provinces, County, Town, or Port, District, or place, shall cease, determine, and be utterly void; and if any captures shall be made after the date and issuing of such Proclamation, or any ships or vessels, and their cargoes, belonging to the inhabitants of any such Colony or Province, Colonies or Provinces, County, Town, or Port, District, or place, or if any ships trading to or from such Colony or Province, Colonies or Provinces, respectively, the same shall be restored to the owners of such ships or vessels, upon claim being entered, and due proof made of their property therein; and the captors shall not be liable to any actions for seizing or detaining the said ships or vessels, or their cargoes, without proof being made that they had actual notice of such Proclamation having been issued.”

Whitehall, December 23, 1775.

SIR: It was not till the 27th of November that your despatch to Lord Dartmouth, of the 27th of August, was received here, when I had the honour of laying it before the King; and I have it in command from his Majesty to express to you his Majesty’s approbation of your zeal for the publick service, and of the unalterable attachment you have shown to his person and Government from the first commencement of the unhappy disputes which have involved his Majesty’s faithful servants in the Colonies in difficulties and distress, that are only to be equalled by the fortitude with which they are borne.

Your letter contains a great deal of very useful information, and your confidential communication of the characters of individuals, more especially of such as come over into England, is of great advantage; and you may rest assured that every possible precaution will be used that no part of your letter shall transpire.

An armament, consisting of seven regiments, with a fleet of frigates and small ships, is now in readiness to proceed to the Southern Colonies, in order to attempt the restoration of legal Government in that part of America. It will proceed, in the first place, to North-Carolina, and from thence either to South-Carolina or Virginia, as circumstances of greater or less advantage shall point out; if to the latter, it may

have very important consequences to the Colony under your Government; and, therefore, you will do well to consider of every means by which you may, in conjunction with Lord Dunmore, give facility and assistance to its operations. I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To Deputy Governour Eden.


Baltimore, April 14, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Captain James Nicholson having returned yesterday evening with his tender, we have despatched her to Annapolis, under the command of Lieutenant Nicholson and Captain Samuel Smith, with a number of picked men well armed, to be at your and the Council’s command, in case the Governour should have escaped before you get down. As this boat can both row and sail, we judged her much better fitted for the pursuit than any vessel that could be found at Annapolis; and we are of opinion that it may still be possible to overtake the Governour before he may leave Colonel Fitzhugh’s, where, it is possible, he may call. Captain Smith has directions to use every precaution that no alarm may be given by the boat’s going down, and we confide in his prudent management of the matter. In case there is no occasion for his service, the vessel can instantly return back. This measure has been determined on by General Buchanan, Mr. Lux, William Buchanan, Doctor Boyd, Mr. Harrison, and myself; but they being now all gone to dinner, cannot find them to sign this.

I am, gentlemen, your most humble servant,



SIR: You are immediately to proceed, with the Defence’s tender, off the harbour of Annapolis, and there to land Captain Smith. While he is ashore, you are to stand off and on the harbour, and examine every boat that comes out of Annapolis, or thereabouts, (taking care to distress no boat? unnecessarily;) and if you find Governour Eden and Secretary Smith, or either of them, you are to make them prisoners. If Captain Smith has orders to deliver them to the Council of Safety, you will, in that case, deliver them up to him for that purpose; if not, bring them on board the Defence. If, upon Captain Smith’s return, you find they are not at Annapolis, you are then to proceed down to Colonel Fitzhugh’s, and assist Captain Smith, if necessary, in examining the Colonel’s house and in making them prisoners. Provided they are not to be found in either place, and you have reason to think you can overtake them in standing farther down the bay, in that case you will proceed as far as prudence will direct you. You must be particularly careful in your watch while off Annapolis. Take care to consult Captain Smith in all cases.

Given from under my hand, this 14th April, 1776, at Fell’s Point, Baltimore.


To Mr. John Nicholson, Lieutenant of the Ship Defence.

N. B. If you find Mr. Ross, you will likewise make him prisoner.


[No. 118.] Annapolis, April 14, 1776.

SIR: You are hereby requested to send a commissioned officer to apprehend Alexander Ross, of this Province, on suspicion of his having been instrumental in communicating intelligence to Lord Dunmore and other persons inimical to this Province and to the cause of America, and to bring him, with all convenient speed, before the Council of Safety. The officer you send will probably find him in the neighbourhood of Qucenstown; in Queen Anne’s County; and for so doing this shall be your justification.

Witness our hands, this 14th day of April, Anno Domini 1776.

To Colonel William Smallwood.

N. B. The officer is to command what assistance he may; want after he gets to the Eastern-Shore.

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