Letter from Josiah Martin to George Sackville Germain, Viscount Sackville
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
Volume 14, Pages 847-849
GOVERNOR JOSIAH MARTIN TO SECRETARY OF STATE.
[B. P. R. C. Am: .W Ind, Vol, 313, p. 242.]
Duplicate—Original not received. Received 9th October.
Camden, South Carolina,
10th June, 1780.
I have the honor to acquaint your Lordship of my being in this country, pursuant to an invitation from Sir Henry Clinton to attend his expedition to the Southward, and his wishes to make me an Instrument of restoring Civil Government in this Province
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in case of its reduction. The signification of the General's desire, my Lord, was alone sufficient to command my attendance on the Expedition. I conceded it my duty to comply, as I did without hesitation, and wanted not the new Allurements he was pleased to set before me to attend him on a service that pointed so nearly to the Field in which, if any where, I supposed I might be useful, not doubting that the success of His Majesty's Arms here would open an Intercourse with North Carolina. A few days after the reduction of Charles Town, on hearing it was intended to march a body of troops into the Country towards the Frontiers of North Carolina I waited upon Sir Henry Clinton and made an Offer of my service under Lord Cornwallis, who was appointed to this command. Sir Henry did me the honor to approve my proposal, and at the same time informed me that he found by his late commission, in which Admiral Arbuthnot is joined, he had not the power of appointing Civil Governors; that was vested in him by the Commission in which he stood single, when at New York he engaged my acceptance of his appointment to this Government, and that therefore his design must fall to the ground. I assured him I was perfectly satisfied and contented that it should, which ended our conversation upon the Subject. I have thought it necessary to state this matter to your Lordship, as Sir Henry Clinton's Intentions towards me had been declared by himself and were generally known. Lest any blame in the case should be imputed to me at the same time, I beg leave to assure your Lordship I should much prefer my former situation, and that I stipulated, as far as I could presume with Sir Henry Clinton, for permission to make that Election whenever circumstances should admit of it.
I have the great satisfaction to acquaint your Lordship that this Province is in all appearance subsiding fast into a state of Peace and tranquility under the auspices of Lord Cornwallis, whose wise and prudent measures I think cannot fail to confirm and secure it ours if they are not contravened. His Lordship is pursuing the only plan of Justice and Policy that I have yet known conjoined with military Operation in the course of the American War, and if the future measures of government relative to this People are founded upon the same just and sound principles of discrimination, I think I may venture to affirm that Britain will
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again hold Empire here, but if, my Lord, in the spirit of concession and indulgence, innocence and guilt are confounded by undistinguished favor and levity, and the means are unemployed which only have been found effectual to cure Rebellion in all Ages and Countries, Your Lordship may depend the result will be nothing better than an unsound pacification—a short-lived Truce, to be soon followed by hostility more combined, compacted and confirmed.
All our accounts from North Carolina assure us of the good disposition of a great majority in that Province to return to the British Government; So that I entertain great hopes, when the Season shall permit of Lord Cornwallis's further operations on this side, and a powerful diversion and Impression is made on the side of Virginia (which I apprehend nothing less than some strange and unforseen Calamity or Disaster can prevent), your Lordship will at length derive from the field that has been hitherto so inauspicious the reward of Success, with which your great efforts in the Service of your Country ought to have been soon crowned.
Being assured that Lord Dunmore aud General Robertson have received Indemnification from Government for their Losses by the Rebellion, I beg leave, on these precedents, to appeal to your Lordship's Justice for Consideration of mine, that are comparatively small, though amounting to between £3 and 4,000 Sterling in Effects seized and sold by the Rebels in North Carolina, which it would put me to great difficulty to replace.
Seeing that the office of Secretary of the Province of North Carolina is vacant, I must humbly beg leave to remind your Lordship of the merits and sufferings of Mr. Lewis H. de Rosset, a Member of the Council of that Province, and to recommend him as a Gentleman well qualified to fill that employment with Honor & Credit.
Captain Cochran, who will have the honor to present this Letter to your Lordship having served with a corps of Light Troops which has done eminent service, and traversed much of the Country, is well qualified to give your Lordship a general Idea of it.
I have the honor to be, &c.