The Governor presents his highest respects to his fair Country women, the Ladies who have honored him with their names to an address in favour of Middleton Mawbly, now under sentence of Death in Wilmington Gaol.
Sensible of the great and unusual honor done him from so many fair hands, he paused between compliance and duty, not knowing how to deny a request supported by such powerful aid, (exclusive of his own feelings for the cause of humanity) and was ready to yield the justice of his Country to the Charms of Beauty.
But on cool deliberation, is sorry to inform his respectable and fair petitioners he cannot, consistent with the high trust reposed in him, extend the mercy of the State to so great an offender.
Had this criminal uniformly persisted in his adherence to the enemies of this Country from the Revolution—left it—openly joined their arms, and conducted himself as a Soldier only, it would have been deemed he acted from principle, but continuing in the State under the disguise of a friend and Citizen until the year 1781, when our affairs were in real distress—then, adding to the miseries of his Country by industriously spreading disaffection among the ignorant and fearful, basely committing ravage, robbery and murder, which are well attested by persons who were not at the trial, show the depravity and malignity of his heart far different from those to whom mercy hath already been shown.
To relieve this State from the horrors of an intestine war, long nurtured in its bosom by disguised villains, and render the protection of Government as diffusive as possible, it becomes necessary to rid it of those irreclaimed wretches who are daily spreading alarms and disturbing the public peace, especially in a part of the State which the enemy have lately made an object of their vengeance, of which some of the ladies who have condescended to be petitioners, have felt the severe effects.
The Governor, therefore, hopes he will be excused in the eyes of his fair friends from granting a pardon to a person who hath received an impartial trial from his Country and whose execution he judges absolutely necessary for their protection, preservation and the security of the State.
To Mrs. Anne Hooper, Mrs. Sarah Moore, Mrs. Heron and the other Ladies in and near Wilmington who addressed the Governor in favour of Middleton Mawbly under sentence of death for Treason.