To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina now sitting at Halifax:
The humble petition of Thomas Barker, of Edenton, in the same State, sheweth:
That your petitioner, when in England, was employed by the Assembly of North Carolina in soliciting an instruction of the public boards relative to the passing an attachment law.
That before the above negotiation was concluded news had got to London of the battle of Lexington, and soon after that the restraining bill was passed, by which the intercourse that had subsisted between Britain and America was destroyed, so that there was no getting to America but by risking a passage by way of France, in which attempt many have been taken prisoners and carried back to England, or to have gone by some town in America garrisoned by British troops, where the commanding officer might have refused a passport.
That under those difficulties your petitioner remained in England till he found that the Commissioners appointed in England to negotiate with the Congress were on the point of setting off for America without any parliamentary powers to acknowledge the independence of the States. He then thought it proper to repair to the Kingdom of France, then in alliance with America, and hoped to have got a passage in a frigate to America; but, finding no such opportunity, he embarked in a small vessel at Nantes on the 8th day of July last, arrived at Edenton the 18th of August and took the oath of allegiance appointed by law. He has always been impressed with the warmest wishes in favor of so just a cause as that of the United States of America, and prays to be relieved from the penalties, etc., of the act for confiscating the estates of absentees, etc., and he shall ever pray.