Letter from Thomas Burke to Nathanael Greene
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
Volume 16, Pages 545-546
GOV. THOS. BURKE TO MAJ GEN. GREENE.
Halifax, March 17th, 1782.
Having an Opportunity by some of the South Carolina Gentlemen returning home, I inclose you an extract of a Letter I have just received from Martinique. It contains matter of Importance, whether the Conjecture relative to the destination of the force be right or wrong. If Jamaica be really the object, is it not probable
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that Troops will be drawn from America, long since become a desperate Object for the Support of the Island so Important to Great Britain? I have a Copy of the Capitulations of the Islands of St. Christophers and Nevis, dated 12th of February, a transcript of which shall be sent you by the next Opportunity. At present it would too long retard the Gentlemen. The Sum of it is that the Garrison are Prisoners of War not to serve against France or her Allies until Exchanged—the Inhabitants protected in everything and allowed to Continue in perfect Neutrality; the Officers to remain on the Island on Parole, if they chuse, but Messrs. Shirley and Drazer, are by the French General and Admiral, declared to be Prisoners of War, as a Testimony of their Esteem for the Gallantry and Generosity of those British Officers. Has the Act of Congress declaring that Lord Cornwallis shall not be exchanged during the War any tincture of this Magnanimity? Perhaps my sentiments on this act are singular, I will therefore not Commit them to paper.
I am, Sir,
With true Esteem and regard,
Yr. Obedient Servant,