Letter concerning public disturbances in New Bern [as printed in the Boston Gazette]
Volume 10, Pages 1024-1025
[Reprinted from the Boston Gazette 22nd July, 1771, 849, 23.]
Letter about Tryon and the Regulators in North Carolina.
Messieurs Edes & Gill,
Please to insert the following:
We learn from N. C. by the way of New-York, that the same murdering temper which governed the actors of the tragedy at Alamance, still reigns triumphant at Newbern. If they hear anybody speak of the Perfidy and Murder of their Hero, it fires their savage passions and sets them upon lavishing all their rage upon inanimate nature, which they, in imagination, murder. Their vile and diabolical dispositions in their worse than Indian rage and fury, appears by the account we have had of their Powows under the gallows on the 26th July last. One of their sheriffs, and perhaps one by whose oppression those unhappy people the Regulators were reduced to those extremities which excited their villainous oppressors, not to relieve, but to murder them; one of those villains, I say, was the person employed by the respectable junto of J——s, L——s, S——s, &c., of N. C. to exhibit a mock tragedy. To gratify their hellish disposition, they hung in effigy Leonidas, Mucius, and the printer of the M. Spy, which excites their infernal pleasure, and raises it so high that they fancy the images real men, “confounded with guilt, and the terrors of an approaching ignominious death, that they had not the least power of speech!” The sheriff makes a speech for them—the images are “still mute,” the sheriff executes
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his office (as they in their delusion seem to think in reality), he hangs and burns three respectable persons, for being friends to an oppressed people, “amidst the shouts and acclamations of a large concourse of —— inhabitants,” who “made the air resound with ‘long live (I had like to have said THE MURDERER OF THE UNHAPPY PEOPLE AT ALAMANCE, but they say) G——r T——n.’” Good God! how depraved is human nature! What! rejoice at the distress, or even supposed distress, of a fellow creature! But thank God, these instances of savage joy are confined to the brutish inhabitants of the howling wilderness, and the J——s, L——s and S——s of NORTH CAROLINA. I have heard of shouts and acclamations when a number of Iroquois have been torturing an unhappy captive by killing him piece-meal, or have been ripping up a woman big with child! But till July 26, 1771, never were heard, such cruel exultings upon the sight of human nature in agony, among any people who pretend to be civilized.
Additional Notes for Electronic Version:
Although the source indicated here is the July 22 edition of the Boston Gazette, this item actually appeared in the September 9, 1771 edition of the paper.