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the immediate seizure of a particular traitor’s person may lead to discoveries on which the salvation of the State may depend; that when the utmost secrecy and expedition are necessary to the seizure of his person, it is the duty of a good citizen not to delay a single instant, if a single instant’s delay may prevent the execution. This was the manner I thought it my duty to proceed in, in the case of Mr. Worm-ley, on the discovery of his correspondence with the enemy: I gave orders for the security of his person and papers, and then referred the affair to the proper tribunal—the Committee of Safety. The measure was so far from giving umbrage or creating jealousy, that it met with their unanimous approbation. If this method is proscribed, at a juncture like the present, the great check on dangerous correspondence and conspiracies will be taken off. If Councils are to be held previously to the seizure of any traitor’s person or papers, notwithstanding the strongest evidences again him, I am much mistaken if every traitor does not slip through your hands. I must now, sir, conclude, with assuring you, and the respectable body over which you preside, that if they suppose me capable of aiming or wishing to extend the military authority, or trespass on the civil, they do me the most cruel injustice. Although I was bred in the Army, I thank God the spirit and principles of the citizen were ever predominant; and I solemnly declare that if I thought it possible I should ever be so far intoxicated by military command as to harbour a wish injurious to the civil supremacy in all things, I would now, whilst I retain my senses, beg leave to divest myself of my present office, and serve as a volunteer in the glorious cause in which I have embarked my person, fortune, and reputation. What I did in this affair I did in the character of a common, zealous member of the community, not of an officer. What appeared irregular or offensive in the mode, I hope I have explained to your satisfaction; and I intreat that it may be entirely attributed to a mistake, for which I am heartily concerned, as it has prejudiced me in the opinions of men whose esteem I am most ambitious of obtaining.

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


To Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Esq., President of the Council of Safety of Maryland.


Charles County, May 7, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The three hundred pounds, received by Lieutenant Adams, being nearly expended in providing necessaries for Captain Rezin Beall’s Company, now in Port-Tobacco, and the Committee for this County not meeting till this day week, I take the opportunity, by Lieutenant John Halkerston, to draw on you for one hundred and fifty pounds, currency, for the purpose of paying for further provisions for said company, the Commissary not having as yet prepared for their support, and no certainty as to what time he will be in readiness for that purpose. On Saturday next, one week’s board for the soldiers will be due, which amounts to upwards of fifty pounds, and I have only twenty-six pounds and some odd shillings this day in hand, of the former sum; out of which there is rent likewise due for a house hired as a barrack for said men; for which reasons I hope your Honours will not fail sending the sum now wrote for.

I am doubtful that any considerable number of blankets cannot be got in this County, (hitherto only eight blankets have been collected, and those delivered to Captain Beall, for the use of his men, who are still in want of more,) notwithstanding proper persons have been appointed by the Committee in every district of the County for the purpose of collecting them.

I am, sirs, your most humble servant,

JOSEPH TURNER, Treasurer for Charles County.

To the Honourable Council of Safety of Maryland.


In Committee, Baltimore Town, May 7, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The enclosed paper contains the opinions and sentiments of a certain Alexander Magee, an inhabitant of this County, which appear to this Committee to be dangerous and inimical to the cause in which America is now embarked. On examining the man, he avowed some of them, and equivocated as to others; and as he appears to have some influence among the common people, the Committee thought it their duty to order him into custody, and to be kept safe till your further directions can be obtained. If you choose that he should be sent down to you, please to direct in what manner, and by whom to be guarded down, and at whose expense, as the commanding officer here apprehends he has no authority to act in the matter, further than to guard him till your answer can be received.

We are, gentlemen, your most humble servants,


To the Honourable Council of Safety of Maryland.

Sentiments, Opinions, and Assertions, of ALEXANDER MAGEE, abstracted from a short conversation on MONDAY, the 29th of APRIL, 1776: Present, Doctor WILLIAM LYON, Mr. ROBERT LYON, and myself, viz:

That enrolling and mustering was taking up arms against the King; that it was flying in the face of, and destroying the Constitution; that it was perjury to such as had taken the oath of allegiance; that the King and Parliament had a right to reclaim the American Charters as forfeited; that the American opposition to Great Britain is not calculated or designed for the defence of American liberty or property, but for the purpose of enslaving the poor people thereof; that the Americans were wrong in disputing the matter with Great Britain, so far as an appeal to arms, for which they had neither officers, men, nor discipline; that it was owing to the liberality and forbearance of Great Britain she had not convinced us of our error ere now, two years being hardly sufficient to rouse her to a war with France or Spain, much less with her own subjects; but that after the great slaughter we should suffer the ensuing campaign, those who survived would think better of it; that he (Magee) would join the King’s troops if he had an opportunity; that signing a paper did not alter the heart, and he knew there were thousands among us who had enrolled that were still of his way of thinking; that he would never pay any fine as a non-enroller, and would shoot any person who should attempt to execute his effects for that purpose.



[No. 147.]Annapolis, May 7, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The quantum of salvage on Mr. Hudson’s ship depends, in Congress, on the length of time she was in possession of the tenders in Patapsco River; and we request, (as it will occasion a great deal of trouble and expense to bring witnesses for the purpose before our Board,) that you will immediately take, and transmit to us, the affidavits of such persons as are best acquainted with the time of the capture and recapture, that we may communicate them to our Deputies.

We are, &c.

To the Committee of Observation for Baltimore County.


In Committee of Safety, Philadelphia, May 2, 1776.

Present: John Nixon, Chairman, Thomas Wharton, Jun., Owen Biddle, Samuel Miles, George Clymer, James Mease, John Cadwallader, Samuel Howell, Daniel Roberdeau, Joseph Parker, George Ross, Robert White, James Biddle.

Upon application of Colonel Samuel Miles, for a sum of Money for the use of Matthias Slough, who is appointed by the Assembly to provide necessaries for the Troops raising in the pay of this Province, and for a sum of Money for himself, for the use of the said Troops; by order of the Board two Orders were drawn on Michael Hillegas, Esq., one for two thousand Pounds, in favour of Colonel Miles, for the use of said Slough, and one other for one thousand Pounds, in favour of said Miles, for use aforesaid.

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