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Extract of a Letter from William H. Drayton to the Council of Safety for South-Carolina



After all, I assure you our situation is utterly precarious while the Governour is at liberty. He animates these men; he tempts them; and although they are now recovered, yet their fidelity is precarious, if he is at liberty to jog them again, and lay new toils for them. Gentlemen, allow me in the strongest terms to recommend that you make hostages of the Governour and the officers. To do this is not more dangerous to us than what we have done; it will secure our safety, which otherwise will be in danger. I would also recommend that the trade with the country be opened;


it will give infinite satisfaction. It will convince every person of the rectitude of our designs. It will obliterate a distinction which, if now permitted to remain, will give Fletchall' s people room to sell their patriotism, &c˙, to King' s Troops, and thus renew a communication. And, indeed, if we will not trade with them, we cannot in conscience blame them for trading with those who will trade with them. And this seems to correspond with the spirit of the resolution of the General Committee, August 23d, "but also to give such assurances," &c. I am clearly of opinion that upon the instrument of the 16th of September, such a relaxation might be grounded. I am persuaded it will be attended with the most salutary consequences, and therefore I do most heartily recommend that it may be done. But above all things I think it is my duty most strongly to represent that the Governour should be taken into custody.

I beg leave also to represent that the declaration of the 13th, and the instrument of the 16th instant, be not only printed generally in the Gazettes and in sheets, to be immediately, by the Committee of Intelligence, circulated throughout the Colony, to give general notification thereof, (which is greedily desired,) and to prevent erroneous copies, but that they be published in England, for this reason: They will show that no part of the people of this Colony are even unfriendly to the designs of Congress; that none of the people will encourage any person, even by word, to condemn our proceedings; that all offenders shall be delivered up to punishment; that no part of the people will even hold communication with the King' s Troops. All this will be in direct contradiction to the Governour' s representation of the meritorious conduct and zeal of Fletchall' s people for the King' s service. And for all this to appear is of infinite importance, and infinitely preferable to our having put a part of those people to the sword, which would not only have lain the foundation for lasting animosities, but would convince Administration that the Governour' s representations were true, that there was a strong party here against the Congress; all which would invite them to send a strong body of Troops here, and that very early.