His Excellency Josiah Martin, &c., &c., &c.
To Allen McDonald, Donald McDonald, Alexander McLeod, Donald McLeod, Alexander McLean, Allen Stewart, William Campbell, Alexander McDonald and Neal McArthur, Esquires, of the Counties of Cumberland and Anson; John Pile, Esquire, of the County of Catham; William Fields, James Hunter, Robert Fields, Jeremiah Fields and Saymore York, Esquires, of the County of Guilford; Michael Holt and James Munroe, Esquires, of the County of Orange; Paul Barringer of the County of Mecklenburgh; William Spurgian, William Bryan, Samuel Bryan and Matthias Sappingfield, Esquires, of the County of Rowan; Gideon Wright and James Glyn, Esquires, of the County of Surry; and Philemon Hawkins Sen., and Philemon Hawkins, Jun., Esquires, of the County of Bute, Greeting:
I, reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage, prudence and fidelity, do by virtue of the powers and authorities in me vested by His Majesty, hereby commissionate, authorize and empower you, whose names are above written, and each and every of you, to erect the King's standard, and to raise, levy, muster, and array in arms, all His Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects within your respective Counties, or in any part or parts of this Province, who are willing and ready to repair to the Royal banner, for the support of the laws and Constitution thereof, against the most horrid and unnatural rebellion that has been excited therein by traitorous, wicked and designing men, and now threatens the subversion of His Majesty's Government, and the utter destruction of the rights and liberties of His Majesty's people.
And I hereby give and grant to you power and authority to form the forces you shall so raise, into companies of fifty men each, and to appoint one Captain, one Lieutenant, and one Ensign, to every company so formed, whose appointment, as well as this commission, shall be good, valid and effectual, during my pleasure; and I do hereby give to you, and every of you, full power and authority to seize and take whatsoever may be necessary of arms, ammunition, provisions, horses and carriages, for the subsistence and accommodationth of February next ensuing, making prisoners in your way all such persons as you know to be principals or active in rebellion, taking all possible care that women and children are unmolested; that no cruelty whatever be committed to sully the arms and honour of Britons and freemen, employed in the glorious and righteous cause of rescuing and delivering their country from the usurpation of rebellion, and that no violence be done against the laws of humanity but what resistance shall make necessary, to the end that the people who have been deluded into rebellion may be made sensible, it is His Majesty's most gracious and Royal intention, and my earnest desire, to reclaim them to a proper sense of their duty and obedience to lawful Government, without involving the country in the horrors of war, if, by timely and dutiful submission, they make such extremities avoidable.
And whereas, there may be many of His Majesty's faithful subjects in this Province, whose merits and influence may qualify them to take part in the execution of this Commission, whom I have omitted for want of knowledge of them, and their principles and their good disposition, I do, hereby give full power and authority to you who are herein named, to join with you in the execution of the powers granted by this Commission, every such person or persons as you shall deem worthy of such high trust and confidence, hereby declaring that each and every such person as you shall think fit to join with you in the execution of these presents, shall have equal power and authority as if they were herein particularly named, in pursuance of the trust reposed in you.
Given under my hand and seal-at-arms, on board His Majesty's Sloop Scorpion, in Cape Fear River, this 10th day of January, 1776, and in the sixteenth year of His Majesty's reign.
This day came John Reynolds before me, one of His Majesty's Justices assigned to keep the peace for said County, and being duly sworn, made oath, that he, this deponent, heard papers read in the camp of William Fields, to be of the same import, and, to the best of his knowledge, in the same words of the within; and that he heard, from the officers and men, declared free plunder wherever they went.
Sworn to before me, this 10th day of February, 1776.