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Virginia Committee of Safety



In Committee of Safety, Williamsburgh, February 22, 1776.

Mr˙ Waller Hatton, of Accomack County, being taken up for trial by the Committee of that County, as having written a letter to Nathaniel Coffin, Esq˙, containing sentiments very unfriendly to the rights of America, an extract from which was published in Mr˙ Purdie' s Gazette of the 2d instant, was, at his own request, referred by the said Committee to the determination of this Board. Mr˙ Hatton accordingly appeared, and, being shown the manuscript extract from the said letter, transmitted from Philadelphia, declared himself well satisfied that it was faithfully taken from the original, and was willing the Committee should proceed to his trial upon that as his letter. He, at the same time, expressed his contrition for having written the letter, and his intention, in future, to conduct himself without offence. Whereupon, he was desired to retire, and reduce


to writing what he was willing to say on that subject, and deliver it in the next morning. He accordingly, the next day, gave in the following paper, viz:

"Whereas, I, in November last, wrote a letter to Nathaniel Coffin, Esq˙, of Boston, wherein I mentioned sundry things disrespectful of the American cause; I, therefore, do now freely acknowledge my imprudence in so doing, and am sorry for the same; and I do hereby further agree and promise, that, for the future, (during the present unhappy dispute between Great Britain and America,) I will not, either by writing or speaking, give any information to any person in power, or any other person whatsoever, prejudicial to the American cause; but, that I will conduct myself entirely, henceforward, so as to give no occasion of ┬░ffence.

"Williamsburgh, February 22, 1776."

Which being satisfactory to the Committee, Mr˙ Hatton is discharged, and recommended to the friends of America to be restored to the peace and protection of society, so long as he observes the rule of conduct he has promised as aforesaid; and, it is Ordered, That these proceedings be published in the Virginia Gazette.

For the Committee: