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Letter from Governour Martin to the Earl of Dartmouth



Your Lordship will not be surprised to hear that the people of this Colony have followed the example of the rest of the Continent, in caballing and forming resolutions upon the late measures of Government, with regard to the divisions in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. The readiness with which the intemperate declarations of the Virginia Assembly were adopted and re-echoed here, will have shown your Lordship, that this people are of but too congenial disposition. What system the other Continental Assemblies have formed by their Committees of Correspondence, which your Lordship must know have been appointed, I cannot tell, having never understood that their proceedings have transpired more than those of the Committee


here, of which nothing appears upon the Assembly' s Journal, but the resolves entered into on the first establishment of that Committee, and that letters had been received from the Committees in the other Colonies, the contents of which are held secret. Whatever measures may have been taken, the combination is assuredly at least indecent and inglorious.

The first intimation that I received, except from vague rumour; of the measures lately taken here, was from the enclosed letter of a Committee at Wilmington, to the freeholders of Craven County, where my residence is fixed. Whereupon I immediately ordered the Council to be summoned, that I might advise with them on the measures proper to be taken to discourage and prevent such unlawful and indecent proceedings. Your Lordship will see, by the minutes of that Board, herewith transmitted, that on the 12th of last month, I laid the letter before them, and that I issued with their advice, a Proclamation the next day; apprehending however, that under the total inability of Government to enforce even what common decorum required, the proposed meeting of Deputies at Newbern, the seat of Government, that was ultimately agreed to be the place of rendezvous, would be accordingly held, and considering it would be my duty to be at hand, to discourage their proceedings as much as lay in my power, and to take such measures as circumstances should require, for the maintenance of order and government, I resolved there to wait, until the time of meeting was past, although the very impaired state of my health made it highly expedient to remove, at that season from so unwholesome a situation; whence, at the very time, I was compelled to send my family to New-York, as the only chance of preserving it from destruction.