Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 19: North Carolina

   On February 19, 1776, General Donald MacDonald, commanding Loyalist Scottish Highland settlers in North Carolina, wrote to American General James Moore, “I beg leave to remind you of his Majesty’s speech to his Parliament, wherein he offers to receive the misled with tenderness and mercy, from motives of humanity.  I again beg of you to accept the proffered clemency.  I make no doubt, but you will show the gentleman sent on this message every possible civility; and you may depend, that all your officers and men which may fall into our hands, shall be treated with an equal degree of respect. ”  Mac Donald enclosed with his letter a copy of Governor Josiah Martin's Proclamation, issued from a British ship in Cape Fear River in which the Loyalist found refuge from revolutionary Provincial authorities.
   The same day, James Moore acknowledged the receipt of MacDonald's letter and promised an answer by noon the next day, February 20.  Moore explained that he could not comply with Governor Martin's proposed terms, 
“as I find them incompatible with the freedom of Americans.  Moore added that feelings of humanity” would induce Moore to show that civility to such of your people as may fall into our hands, as I am desirous should be observed toward those of ours, who may be unfortunate enough to fall into yours.
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