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enemy that may invade us, it cannot be omitted. The neglect may be fatal. Now there is nothing to oppose our doing it. As much work may be done in one day now as may be in ten when the enemy is annoying the labourers. And ought we not to take it for granted that what they can do they will do? Are they not unwearied in their exertions to ruin us? Are we to take for granted that they have not men, strength, or inclination to attack us again? Might we not easily be surprised under our perfect defenceless state, they knowing that our Army is removed? What scheme could they contrive more probable to effect our ruin than to return with their fleet and army? The measures at present pursued for fortifying the Castle, &c., tend to the security of Boston only; but this would secure the whole harbour, from within Pulling to Alderton-Point; and without this an army might land anywhere from Hull to Dorchester, and from Pulling-Point to Noddle’s Island. These things being considered, it is imagined that no one could hesitate about the propriety of the measure. The present time is, perhaps, the only time. This opportunity once lost may never be regained. What may be done to-day it is not wisdom to leave until to-morrow.


To the King’s most Excellent Majesty, the humble Address of the Provincial Synod of DUMFRIES.

Most Gracious Sovereign:

We, your Majesty’s dutiful subjects, the Ministers and Elders of the Provincial Synod of Dumfries, now assembled about the affairs of the church within our District, beg leave humbly to approach the throne, with hearts full of affection and loyalty, to declare in the strongest manner our warm and steady attachment to your Majesty’s person, family, and Government, and to express our abhorrence of the rebellion now subsisting in your Colonies in North-America.

This rebellion we consider as unnatural towards the Parent State, and ungrateful to the best of Sovereigns, whose reign has been so much distinguished by wisdom, justice, and clemency.

We are happy to assure your Majesty, that the people under our charge entertain the same just sentiments; and we shall not fail, great sir, at this critical juncture, to enforce upon them principles of loyalty to your Majesty, and of submission to Government.

That the Divine Providence may so guide your Majesty’s Councils, and prosper your arms, as that the present civil war may be brought to a speedy and happy conclusion, is the sincere prayer of, may it please your Majesty, your Majesty’s faithful subjects, the Ministers and Elders of the Provincial Synod of Dumfries.

Signed in our name and presence, this 17th day of April, 1776, by



I arrived here after a tedious journey. As I came through Virginia I found the inhabitants desirous to be independent from Britain. However, they were willing to submit their opinion on the subject to whatever the General Congress should determine. North-Carolina, by far, exceeds them, occasioned by the great fatigue, trouble, and danger the people here have undergone for some time past. Gentlemen of the first fortunes in this Province have marched as common soldiers; and, to encourage and give spirit to the men, have footed it the whole time. Lord Cornwallis, with seven regiments, is expected to visit us every day. Clinton is now in Cape-Fear, with Governour Martin, who has about forty sail of vessels, armed and unarmed, waiting his arrival. The Highlanders and Regulators are not to be trusted. Governour Martin has coaxed a number of slaves to leave their masters in the lower parts; everything base and wicked is practised by him. These things have totally changed the temper and disposition of the inhabitants that are friends to liberty; all regard or fondness for the King, or the nation of Britain, is gone; a total separation is what they want. Independence is the word most used. They ask, if it is possible that any Colony, after what has passed, can wish for a reconciliation? The Convention have tried to get the opinion of the people at large. I am told that in many Counties there were not one dissenting voice. Four new battalions are directed to be raised, which will make six in this Province.

We are endeavouring to form a Constitution, as it is thought necessary to exert all the powers of Government; you may expect it will be a popular one.


[No. 121.]Annapolis, April 17, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: We have had an alarm here of a very interesting nature. We think it advisable to communicate the intelligence by express, at the same time letting you know what we have done therein; and we are induced to expedite our despatch, because we do not know but that the Congress may have taken some steps in the same affair, copies having been forwarded to them from the Committee of Observation for Baltimore County, to whom the whole packet was transmitted by the Committee of Safety of Virginia, we think very improperly, as the address ought to have been made in the first place to us.

Some time past, Alexander Ross (a great scoundrel, we fear) applied to our Board for a permit to go to Lord Dun-more, under pretence of private business, and getting some money that was due to him, as he alleged. He brought us a letter from two gentlemen of the Congress, (Messrs. Alexander and Rogers,) which, no doubt R. Alexander remembers. We refused to give him any other permit than to the Committee of Safety of Virginia. Thither he went, we are told, but could not get a permit to Dunmore. He got a letter, it is said, to the Committee of Hampton; they declined giving him any passport. He went to Lord Dunmore without, and on his way back was stopped by Captain Barron, who took from him some letters to Governour Eden, particularly a circular letter; also, a private letter from Lord George Germaine, which, we take it for granted, you have seen, some of the Committee of Baltimore assuring us that they forwarded duplicates to the Congress. On receipt of these letters, (Monday afternoon,) we immediately gave orders to apprehend Ross, and the next morning a deputation from our Board, together with W. Paca, Esquire, (then in town,) waited on the Governour, showed him the copies of the intercepted letters, and requested a sight of his letter of the 27th of August to Lord Dartmouth. The Governonr declared to us that he had sent away the copy of that letter, with all his other papers of consequence, last fall, and could not remember the particulars; but observed, we might be convinced there was nothing of a nature unfriendly to the peace of this Province, because the troops going to the southward were not ordered here. He asserted, also, upon his honour, that he had not endeavoured to inflame the Ministry, by traducing the characters of individuals; some he had spoken well of; others he had recommended as sufferers. The gentlemen of the Congress he had spoken of as acting within the line of moderation.

The deputation informed him they were instructed to ask his parole that he would not leave the Province till the meeting of the Convention. He complained of being unjustly suspected; gave us his letters from William Eden, Esquire, (his brother,) one of the Under Secretaries; also from Lord Dartmouth, (copies of which we had leave to take, and herewith transmit you.) He desired time (till this day, twelve o’clock) to give his definitive answer. He has given it, and we send you a copy thereof. We look upon it as giving his parole, in effect, that he will not leave the Province till the Convention, and will endeavour to promote the peace thereof in the mean time. He wishes to continue in that line of conduct as long as he can, consistently with his station, and will not leave the Province after the Convention, provided they will assure him that, when he finds he can no longer stay with peace and consistency, he may have leave to depart and carry his effects. This we promised to recommend to our friends in Convention. William Paca agrees with us in opinion that we may rest satisfied with this answer, and not call the Convention sooner than the 27th of May, unless something further should intervene.

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