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Letter from Colonel Howe to Captain Bellew



Norfolk, December 30, 1775.

I am too much of an officer to wish you to do any thing incompatible with the honour of your commission, or to recede, myself, from any point which I conceive to be my duty. Under the influence of reciprocal feelings, consequences may ensue which either, perhaps, would choose to avoid. Our sentinels have received orders not to fire at your boats, or any other, unless approaching the shore in a hostile manner. If they exceed this order, we would punish them ourselves; or, if you do it, we shall thank you for it. If, however, your resentment extends farther than merely to them, I should wish the inhabitants of the town, who have nothing to do in this matter, may have time to remove with their effects. And, as to the rest, I should be unworthy of the respect of a man of your character, if I consulted any thing but my duty.

I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To Henry Bellew, Esq.