Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feb 6: Warning of NC Expedition

On February 6, 1776, William Hooper wrote from New York to Joseph Hewes and John Penn, representing North Carolina in the Continental Congress, to warn their home state to prepare for invasion. British Major General Henry Clinton was in New York City with British troops from Boston, planning to rendezvous off North Carolina with troops from England.

"When I consider the defenceless State of No. Carolina arising from a want of Arms & Ammunition, the divided sentiments of the people, the effect it might have upon the Highlanders & Regulators if Governour Martin supported with a body of Troops should introduce himself amongst them, I am importunate that no stone should be left unturned to protect in that province the friends to the American Cause."

The delegates could not "dictate" but "hint" to their fellow-North Carolinians "that it will be prudent immediately to send off an Express to Edenton with the Intelligence I herewith afford you, & thereby to recommend to them to call as soon as may be the Provincial Congress to take such measures under their Sanction as may prevent the cause of America, so far as N. Carolina is concerned in support of it, going to total destruction."

Paul H. Smith, et al., eds., Letters of Delegates to Congress: Vol. 3: January 1, 1776-May 15, 1776 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1978), page 208, citing a monuscript in the Hayes Collection at the University of North Carolina University Libraries. For the Association signed by the Ladies of Edenton, North Carolina on 25 October 1774, please check here.
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