|You are here: Home >> American Archives|
dence amongst us, and that confidence which such a relation necessarily created, have raised their hands against us, and endeavoured to imbrue them in the best blood of our fellow-citizens. God in his Providence hath hitherto defeated their wicked machinations, and after their having experienced a shameful defeat, hath put into our possession many of the principals of them, who, from the wickedness of their own hearts, and from the seduction of others, meant to have consigned this once flourishing Colony to the most abject slavery and oppression.
Those people, though subdued, still retain principles inimical to us; and are prompt, as soon as they shall be favoured by their situation, or the assistance of troops expected every day to invade this Colony, with a probability of succeeding, to attempt to carry their wishes into execution, and, co-operating with a merciless Administration, drench this Province in blood and slaughter.
These have been our motives for exercising a severity, which regard to the common safety, and that first principle of nature, self-preservation, prompted. Justice demanded it at our hands; and in the anguish of our hearts we lament the sad necessity which the frailties of our fellow-beings have allotted to our share; still we wish the reformation of those who, in this unhappy contest, are severed from us, and from those endearing ties which nature and social connexions have formed for them, and who still remain amongst us to lament the folly and wickedness of those whom we have removed from amongst them. To these we administer this consolation, that they may rest assured that no wanton acts of cruelty, no severity, shall be exercised to the prisoners; no restraints shall be imposed upon them, but what shall be necessary to prevent their using their liberty to the injury of the friends of America.
We have their security in contemplation, not to make them miserable. In our power, their errors claim our pity, their situation disarms our resentment. We shall hail their reformation with increasing pleasure, and receive them to us with open arms. Then sincere contrition and repentance shall atone for their past conduct. Members of the same political body with ourselves, we feel the convulsion which such a severance occasions; and shall bless the day which shall restore them to us friends to liberty, to the cause of America, the cause of God and mankind.
We war not with the helpless females which they left behind them; we sympathize in their sorrow, and wish to pour the balm of pity into the wounds which a separation from husbands, fathers, and the dearest relations, have made. They are the rightful pensioners upon the charity and bounty of those who have aught to spare from their own necessities to the relief of their indigent fellow-creatures; to such we recommend them.
May the humanity and compassion which mark the cause we are engaged in, influence them to such a conduct as may call forth our utmost tenderness to their friends whom we have in our power. Much depends upon the future demeanour of the friends of the Insurgents who are left among us, as to the treatment our prisoners may experience. Let them consider these as hostages for their own good behaviour; and by their own merits make kind offices to their friends a tribute of duty as well as humanity from us, who have them in our power.
The Congress adjourned till to-morrow morning, nine oclock.
Tuesday, April 30, 1776.
The Congress met according to adjournment.
The Committee appointed to settle the Salvage of such Vessels as were lately taken, and what the captors may be entitled to, reported as follows, viz:
That it appears to your Committee, that a certain schooner, called the Polly, of which one Silas Henry is now master, was bound on a voyage from Edenton, in this Province, to the Island of Madeira, loaded with Indian corn, staves, and heading, and that the said schooner had proceeded to the Swash, near Occacock Island, on her way to the said Island of Madeira; and that on Sunday, the 14th of this instant, (April,) about four oclock in the afternoon of the same day, an armed sloop, called the Lilly, commanded by a certain John Goodrich, a tender fitted out by Lord Dunmore for the purpose of taking all the vessels at Occacock Bar; that the said John Goodrich hailed the schooner Polly, and ordered the master to come on board the said tender, and bring his papers; that Silas Henry, the master, and James Buchanan, one half owner of the schooner Polly and her cargo, went on board the tender Lilly, and delivered the papers to Captain John Goodrich, who received and examined the same, and who told Mr. James Buchanan that the schooner was a prize, and kept the papers; and that Lieutenant John Wright, master of the armed sloop Fincastle, came over Occacock Bar the evening of the said 14th day of this instant, (April,) and about eight oclock the same evening a boat with armed men sent from the Fincastle boarded the schooner Polly, and plundered the said schooner of all the live-stock, disarmed the men, and left a prize-master and four armed men on board the schooner Polly, who remained there for the term of fifty-eight or fifty-nine hours; and that on the 17th of this instant, (April,) a number of armed men in five whale-boats, boarded the tender commanded by John Goodrich, took her, and retook the schooner Polly, and carried the tender and schooner up to Newbern. Your Committee therefore humbly submit to the consideration of the Congress the following as their opinion: That the captors are entitled, by a resolve of the Continental Congress of the 25th of November last, to one-third part of the schooner Polly and her cargo, in lieu of salvage; and that the said vessel and cargo, consisting of Indian corn, staves, and heading, should be sold at publick auction, first giving thirty days publick notice; and that after the sale thereof, and all necessary charges deducted, the distribution thereof shall be made as followeth, viz: One-third part to the captors, and the other two-thirds to Messieurs James Buchanan and Archibald Campbell, who appear to your Committee to have owned the said schooner Polly and her cargo.
The House, taking the said Report into consideration, concurred therewith.
Resolved, That Thomas Sitgreaves be appointed to sell at publick auction for ready money, the Schooner Polly and her cargo, first giving thirty days notice in the Carolina Gazette; and that distribution of the money arising from the sale thereof (after deducting all necessary charges) be made in the following manner, viz: One-third part thereof to the captors, in lieu of salvage; and the other two-thirds to Messieurs James Buchanan and Archibald Campbell, who appear to have owned the said Schooner Polly and her cargo.
Resolved, That Joseph Hughs, late of Rowan County, have a safe conduct to come and reside in the County of Mecklenburgh, with such of his family and property as he shall think proper to remove, he giving security to behave himself well, and not to give assistance or counsel, directly or indirectly, to the enemies of America.
Resolved, That Mr. George Miller, Mr. Currie, and Mr. Campbell, be a Committee to examine the property of John Hamilton & Co., in a vessel called the William, and her cargo, ordered to be seized at Newbern, and make report thereon.
Ordered, That Mr. Samuel Ashe and Mr. Caswell be added to the Committee to report the most practicable and expeditious method of procuring and purifying Sulphur for the use of the Powder-Mill directed to be erected in this Province, and also the method of supplying the same with Lead, and the mode of purifying the same.
The Committee for taking under consideration such Petitions as may be exhibited by persons who shall appear objects of charity, reported that they had taken in consideration the Petition of Robert Willis, viz:
It appears to your Committee that the said Robert Willis is a Sergeant in Captain Armstrongs Company of the Continental Army in this Province; that in the late expedition to Ninety-Six, in South-Carolina, he took cold by the inclemency of the season, whereby he hath been reduced to a very weak and languishing state of health, and that the said Robert Willis is very poor and indigent. Your Committee therefore recommend him as an object of publick charity, and are of opinion that, during his present infirmity, he ought to be allowed from this Province for his support at the rate of twenty Pounds a year, to be paid quarterly, in lieu of his pay.