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Extract of a Letter to a Gentleman in Philadelphia,



The troubles in the back parts are entirely subsided. Their ringleaders, with about one hundred and thirty others, were taken. All to about twenty have been dismissed, and sent safe to their own houses, being convinced


of their mistake, and well satisfied with the treatment they received when taken. They had been persuaded to take up arms to preserve their lives and properties, which they heard had been sold to the Indians, who were to butcher them all on a fixed day, when the Liberty People, (as they call them,) were to go into forts, and leave them open and defenceless to the enemy, to be destroyed entirely. Some villains swore before a magistrate, that powder had been sent to the Indians for this diabolical purpose. Upon this they collected a second and third time, but were attacked by Colonels Richardson and Thompson at the break of day, after a forced march of twenty-five miles in the night, surprised and taken.

About thirty of the prisoners work at a battery six miles from town, on Sullivan' s Island, at the mouth of the harbour. I did myself the honour of going down as a volunteer with the detachment. Here I got acquainted with several of the insurgents, who were plain, honest, sensible fellows; and as I assumed no character above a digger or spadesman, in which, without vanity, I excelled the whole corps, they looked upon me as their brother, and heard me gladly. I gave them a full and proper account of every thing concerning the ground of the war. This, with three or four gallons of rum, was of infinite service to our cause.

The reason of deferring the battery on Sullivan' s Island was the Tamar and Cherokee,sloops-of-war, lay close alongside of this Island, which was made a den for runaway slaves, who were encouraged and protected by the people belonging to the ships. The departure of them, occasioned by want of provisions, which we refused to supply them with, the moment we had it in our power to prevent them from plundering, gave us an opportunity of fortifying the Island. I went twice down, and worked the first time three, and the second two days, the only volunteer. The ships were but a few days gone, when three others sent from England, appeared off our bar, the Syren, of twenty-eight, Raven, of twenty guns, and a transport. They several times attempted coming in, but the wind for three or four days prevented them. One of our pilot boats fired upon their barge, which was several times returned without damage. They at last sailed for Georgia, where they and the other men-of-war are now striving to procure provisions, after which we expect a visit from them, and are pretty well prepared. We have above one hundred heavy cannon mounted for the defence of the town and harbour, and the Militia from all parts are marching into town.

Upon the return of the Georgia Delegates, the Sons of Liberty assembled, unrigged all the vessels that were ready to sail for England, set up a Liberty Pole, seized upon the persons of the Governour and Council, and sent to us for two hundred men. Some Tories there are striving to bring on an Indian war, and recruiting for Government in the back parts of that Province.

The town is surrounded with seven batteries, two on James' s Island, viz: Fort Johnston of twenty, and a new one of eleven guns; and two on Sullivan' s Island, one of twelve, and another of four guns; so that we can rake the whole harbour from the bar. But I suppose this is nothing to what your Council of Safety has done for the defence of Philadelphia, which is so easily defended on account of the length of your river. You must be impregnable by this time. You are happy, my dear friend, in not being exposed to the more than diabolical machinations of Government tools, and the dread of insurrections from your Slaves. Hell would be ashamed of such mean and more than brutal attempts to destroy us, and the Devil would blush at the impudence of the man who would have ihe effrontery to recommend a re-union with so barbarous a Government.