Expecting in our province a scene of much Business which may require all our attention, we have thought it expedient to send the prisoners taken during the late Commotions some to Maryland, some to Virginia and some to Philadelphia for the more immediate disposition of the Continental Congress. These last are such as appear to us from their rank and influence over an Ignorant and restless part of our Inhabitants to be capable of doing us the Most Mischief—we are sorry to be compelled to an Act of such severity as this of sending these men at such a distance from their unfortunate Families; but the security of our Country makes it indispensably necessary, for should they have an opportunity of exerting their pernicious influence, at a time when we may be invaded by a powerful Army, the consequences might and probably would prove fatal. The hopes which these men have given our Enemies we are assured has induced the British Ministry to direct against us the first efforts of their arms; to them therefore, are due the evils, expences, and difficulties, which we encountered in suppressing them, and the Calamities which they and their wretched Families Must now undergo, we shall not fail to extend to the latter the most humane attention, for we are always mindful that humanity distinguishes the brave, We should not have sent off the prisoners but that we could not secure them without engaging too many of our Officers and Soldiers from more important business, for while in the Neighborhood of their Connections when the attention of every one would be drawn to the more important Operations of the impending Campaign, without strong Guards a rescue would be inevitable, we rely on the wisdom of the Congress for disposing of them in such a secure manner that we shall have nothing to apprehend from their future Machinations. We inclose you the list of their names and we shall by the first opportunity transmit you a particular account of Circumstances relative to each extracted
A letter from the
Com.er of Secrecy War & intelligence of N Carolina
22 April 1776 enclosing a list of prisoners sent to Phild.
Read 2. May.