If I could offer an apology for the very extraordinary liberty I now assume, it would be founded on the unhappy condition of Persons in my situation, who seem to have been betrayed by the National Leaders, to our Enemies, at a time they had neither Army, Navy, Money, nor credit.
Perhaps, Sir, You may remember that I had the honor to be presented to You at Philadelphia, through General GREY; that You were pleased to say he had informed You, that, I had better performed my compact with Government than any other Provincial Officer; that You also asked If I had stipulated with Government for half pay, and that I replied I had not; confiding in National honor to restore Us, or place the provincials on an equal footing.
May I be permitted, Sir, to observe, that from Philadelphia we marched nearly four hundred men, chiefly Natives of Maryland; that the Officers were respectable by their connexions and property; that We embarked for Florida, from which period untill the surrender of the Colony, we lost several Officers, and One hundred and Seventy Men, by the small-pox received at Jamaica, as well as by extraordinary fatigue &ca on the works near Pensacola.
Altho' we had seen the Volunteers of Ireland, and other favored Regiments partially employed in the provinces of Cheasapeak, to which service, humanity and political Justice equally destined Us; Yet, Sir, were our misfortunes supported by ardent zeal, untill with grief and indignation we perceived in an intercepted letter of Lord Geo. GEMRAIN's, that Sir Henry CLINTON had recommended for American establishment Nine Provincial Regiments, one of which had refused to embark on service, and never quitted Long Island, others of the Corps Junior to Us, were chiefly Officered by Favorites from the Regular line, or other Emigrants who staked no property on the Contest; renounced no domestic felicity; and could not in effect possess future influence in America.
It was only then, sir, We memorialed General CLINTON on the injustice we had sustained, and He was indeed pleased to say He would transmit our Memorial as requested to the King, but we never heard more of it, occasioned perhaps by the misfortune of Lord Cornwallis which happened shortly after its delivery.
Sir, as if the late horrid treaty did not Sufficiently overwhelm us, It would Seem that the most refined cruelty was adopted to dishonor Us by placing on the British Establishment part of the Nine Regiments already said to have been recommended by Sir Hy. CLINTON for American Establishment in the most partial manner.
In Justice to ourselves, we have therefore, sir, transmitted a memorial to the King, which We hope, Sir Robert EDEN will present: now, sir, from Your Generous Patriotism and humane attention to the unhappy American Loyalists, We would hope that You would not be displeased to afford some degree of countenance to our memorial. I am again to beg pardon for this freedom as[illegible] You to believe that with the most perfect Respect I have the honor to be sir
Your most obedient
New York 12th April 1783
University of New Brunswick, Harriet Irving Library, Saunders Family Papers, Correspondence, 1780-1803.
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