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Letter from Thomas Burke to Joel Lewis
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
April 05, 1782
Volume 16, Page 269

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough, April 5th, 1782.


I have reprieved the prisoners now under sentence of death until the 10th of May next, deeming it more just, as well as more politic, to consider persons under their circumstances, as reported to me by the Judges, in the light of exchangeable prisoners of War than of Criminals, provided the Enemy will acknowledge them as their officers and exchange them in their Rank. The time for which they are reprieved is calculated to obtain answer from the Enemy, and as I am informed that Samuel Bryant in particular and the others generally are threatened with violence by some intemperate people in the neighbourhood of Salisbury whose zeal prevents them from perceiving that by such rash acts they dishonor the Government which they wish to support, and set examples to the Enemy which must prove fatal to some good friends, I, therefore, desire you to be very attentive to prevent any violence to the persons of those prisoners, and should any be offered to secure the transgressors to be dealt with as the nature of the offence may require.

I am, Sir,
Your Obedt. Servant,