Primary tabs

Letter from Colonel Howe to the Virginia Convention



Norfolk, December 25, 1775.

Yesterday, by a flag of truce, I received a letter from Captain Bellew, a copy of which I have the honour to transmit you, with a copy of those I have written to him, Though Colonel Woodford and myself were sensible it was our duty to withhold from him, as much as in our power lay, those supplies he wishes to obtain, yet the moderate conduct he has pursued, and the sentiments of humanity by which he seems to be actuated, induced us to delay an answer till to-day, and to couch it in terms which cannot but show him, that occasion, not inclination, had influence upon our conduct. Captain Bellow' s letter was brought us by one of his Lieutenants; he expressed for himself and every officer on board, the reluctance they should feel, if compelled by necessity, they should be obliged, by marauding parties, to snatch from the indigent farmers of this


Colony those provisions they were so willing to purchase. I thought proper, sir, to give you this information; and through you, Colonel Woodford and myself beg leave to submit it to the consideration of your honourable Board, whether we are to show any indulgence to those people, and, if we are, to what bounds we are to extend it.

Major Ruffin, and about one hundred and eighty Minute-Men, arrived last night; it was a seasonable relief to our soldiers, almost worn out with duty this very bad weather.

I was honoured with your letter yesterday, and are made happy to find our proceedings are approved of. The orders it conveys, and all others which we may receive, we shall endeavour to execute with the greatest punctuality.