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Application of Colonel Connolly to the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety


Connolly' s Application to Congress, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The low state of my health, added to the most rigorous confinement, urges me to write to the Committee of Safety, requesting an enlargement, on such honourable terms as they might conclude adequate to my circumstances.

A prejudice, universal as it is groundless, seems to have rendered me particularly odious to my countrymen; conceiving that I was to have been the base instrument of instigating the Savages to desolate the frontiers, to sacrifice the defenceless women and children, and to introduce the utmost scene of calamity and distress, appears to render my situation peculiarly severe. But, when I assure you that a design so inhuman never entered my breast, and that no earthly consideration could ever induce me to promote so dishonourable and inglorious a proceeding, I flatter myself I shall gain your credit.

At the same time that justice to myself calls upon me to make this declaration, I am in honour, also, to acquaint you, that in discharge of the trust reposed in me, I should most ardently have exerted every ability consistent with humanity and the law of arms. The peculiarly delicate ground on which I stood at the commencement of this unhappy dispute, the infinite obligations I owed to his Excellency Lord Dunmore, and a perfect conviction of acting with becoming propriety, determined my conduct. I cannot imagine that gentlemen of your education and unconfined ideas would even wish to punish a man whose actions originated from the wannest gratitude and a sense of honour.

Sequestered from the world, and borne down with infirmity of body, I entreat you to alleviate my distress, by an enlargement from this severe confinement, so destructive to health, and my honour shall inevitably bind me to pursue such orders as you may think necessary to direct, until this calamitous contest subsides, or until I may be exchanged by mutual consent.

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant,