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Letter from Hammond


His Excellency' s boat went down on the 26th ultimo, and returned on the 31st, with the following from Captain Hammond, who is Commander of the Squadron on this station. (No˙ 16, viz:)

"On his Majesty' s service. To Robert Eden, Esq˙, Governour of his Majesty' s Province of Maryland, Annapolis. By favour of Robert Smith, Esq.


"Roebuck, at Gwin' s Island, May 30, 1776.

"DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 26th instant, by Mr˙ Smith, who arrived here yesterday, and am sorry (though not surprised) to learn that you think it necessary to leave Annapolis.

"The Province of Maryland has hitherto been looked upon as having acted with a degree of moderation in the present unnatural rebellion subsisting in the Colonies; and I had some expectation, from your continuing in your Government, that you might have been able to convince the people of the impossibility of their succeeding in the plan that America is now pursuing; which is the only motive, I fear, that will have any weight in bringing them back to their allegiance. But as you have certainly now given this a very fair trial, and it is become apparent that the matter can only be settled by force of arms, I confess that I think your remaining longer among them would only be exposing yourself to insults, and would answer no good purpose to his Majesty' s service. I shall, therefore, very soon send one of the King' s ships to receive you on board, until a passage can be provided for you to England, which I believe will happen very shortly. I shall also not fail to give orders to the ship that she shall commit no hostilities at Annapolis whilst on that service. But as no officer in his Majesty' s service can be supposed to suffer patiently the smallest insult to be offered to the British colours, it will be necessary for you to inform the persons that assume the government of the people, that if the peace is not as strictly observed on the part of the Provincials, both with regard to the boats as well as the ship, during the time it may be necessary for her to stay on the coasts of Maryland, that any orders which I may think proper to issue for the purpose, will not restrain the Captain of the ship from acting as he shall think proper and necessary upon the occasion.

"Had I not received your letter, you would certainly have heard from me in a few days, to have acquainted you that his Excellency the Earl of Dunmore and myself, with the joint forces under our command, left Norfolk on the 23d instant, and put into this harbour on the 28th, in order to complete our wood and water, where we at present remain.

"I have the honour to be, dear sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


"To Governour Eden, Annapolis. "

His Excellency further adds, that he is in daily expectation of the arrival of one of his Majesty' s ships of war to receive him.

And he was pleased to conclude by observing to the Board, that although he had not consulted them in the progress of this disagreeable business, his not doing it was not owing to any distrust of, or disrespect to them, being fully persuaded they would have given him their best advice on this, as they have always done on every other occasion; but that the whole of these transactions seemed immediately to concern himself; his absence was to be supplied by the President and Council; very few of the Council were present for him to consult with; and, in general, that the different proposals made to him by the Council of Safety, or Convention, required immediate answers, which depended only on himself.