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James Cavet to Arthur St. Clair and Others



Pittsburgh, May 13, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: I am sorry that it is so much in my power to doubt the Governour' s attention to this unhappy Country. We have not had, since our confinement, the least account from him, and I think it is beyond a doubt he got our packet. Our express is returned, and says he gave the letters to Doctor Plunket at Susquehannah, who would certainly send them. Our situation, and that of the well affected inhabitants of this place, is become almost intolerable; it is impossible for any person to conceive the cruel mode of proceedings at this place, unless those who are unhappy enough to be eye-witnesses thereof. Mr˙ Smith, in particular, will, (if not by some means prevented,) in a short time be absolutely ruined. Mr˙ Hanna and myself will, at this court, be confined in the guardroom of Fort Dunmore, if we don' t give bail, and God knows whether it will be in our power so to do, for we are informed, by some of our friends, that none other will be acceptable but those who will come into open court and


swear they are worth whatever sum is in the recognizance, and no doubt it will be an enormous sum. Mr˙ Smith was this day taken with a writ of one hundred thousand Pounds damages. But I need not descend into particulars; every part of their conduct appears that they not only want the jurisdiction of this quarter, but also to rob every man of his property.

And, gentlemen, it is by your friends here thought advisable that the Sheriff, with a party of fifty men, or there abouts, should come up and take us who are in confinement, and also as many of these rascals as possible, as there will be no strength to oppose you, there being but eighteen men in the Fort. It is surprising what a pusillanimous temper must prevail amongst the people in general to suffer the peace and welfare of a whole County to be destroyed by such a handful of villains. But let the people be called upon by the Sheriff, and certainly they will riot refuse to come. If such a step be thought best, it ought to be managed with secrecy and despatch. Pray send off an express by Tuesday night to us with advice, for if we are not taken off we must give bail, if it can be had, and the thoughts of so doing is no small mortification after hanging out so long. I have no time to say any more, but acknowledge myself your humble servant,


To Arthur St˙ Clair, John Carnaghan, William Lochey, Esquires, and all our brethren inclusive.

P˙ S. I must beg your pardon and patience also for writing so long an epistle, but I had almost forgot to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 9th, and also to inform you that Mr˙ Scott is bound by the Sheriff to appear here next court, and I suppose will share the same fate of Hanna and myself.