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Letter from Arthur St. Clair, Ligonier, to Joseph Shippen



Ligonier, February 25, 1774.

DEAR SIR: The disturbances that have begun in this country seem still to be increasing, and, unless some effectual method is soon fallen upon to put a stop to them, will soon come to a formidable head. What that method should be it is difficult to say, but possibly the running a temporary line might quiet the people a little, though I doubt very much if even that would not now be opposed.

As much the greatest part of the inhabitants near the line have removed from Virginia, they are inexpressibly fond of any thing that comes from that quarter, and their minds are never suffered to be at rest. Mr˙ Croghan' s emissaries (and it is astonishing how many he has either duped or seduced to embrace his measures) are continually irritating them against Pennsylvania, and assuring them they are not within its limits; so that unless Lord Dunmore does formally recede from what he has undertaken in this country, it will be next to impossible to exercise the civil authority. From the very beginning I foretold a second Carolina affair was intended, I am now convinced of it.

I have letters from all the Magistrates in that part of the country; complaining of the difficulties they are exposed to, and the open and avowed determination of the people not to submit to their jurisdictions. However, they are all still as yet, and I will do what in my power lies to continue them, so; as one step towards it, and to convince the others that we in some measure are in earnest, I intend immediately removing my office to Pittsburg, adjoining, there to live the moment I can get my farm off my hands here.

I enclose you a letter from Mr˙ Spear, which I received by the bearer. I shall immediately write to Mr˙ Swearingen to commit, without ceremony, any person who shall attempt to oppose or molest him in the execution of his office. Excuse the haste I am almost always obliged to write to you in; opportunities offer unexpectedly, and the people waiting.

I am, dear sir, your very humble servant,