Loyal Refugee Volunteers
Copy of a Letter from Governor FRANKLIN to Major DELANCY D.A. Genl. dated 17th Novr. 1780-
I visited the Refugee Post mentioned in your Letter of Yesterday about three Weeks ago, and finding it to be in a very defenceless Situation, I represented to the chief Persons I saw there the Impropriety of their Conduct in going to work in the adjacent Woods before they had sufficiently provided for their Safety.
They informed me that most of the Men who came there depended entirely on their daily Labour for their Subsistence, and their Anxiety on that Account had made them not so attentive to the fortifying their Post, at first, as they ought to have been;
but that, having now got a little before hand, they would immediately proceed to make some Addition to their Works.
Captain WARD who commands there has since informed me that they have erected a small Redoubt, and made such other Provision for their Security as they think sufficient, unless a large Body of Continental Troops should come with Artillery against them; in which case they hope, from the Precautions they have taken, they shall be able to procure timely Notice to effect a Retreat to their Boats.
For my Part I am still of Opinion their Post is by no means so tenable as it ought to be, but I have no kind of Controul over them farther than giving my Advice, nor any Authority to direct the Taking, fortifying or abandoning of Posts in the Rebel Country.
It is therefore, Sir, not in my Power to take any effective Measures for preventing the Accidents which are apprehended from the Information the Commander in Chief has received, nor can it with Propriety be expected until His Excellency shall think proper, by Commission, to establish the Board of Directors recommended by His Majesty.
I believe, however, Major CROSBIE, Barrack Master General has found the Post of great Utility to this Garrison, and I am convinced might be made much more so in many Respects.
Several other Posts equally beneficial could easily have been, and might, perhaps, notwithstanding the Lateness of the Season still be occupied by Refugees, with a very little Support from Government.
But this is a Matter that does not depend on the Wish or Inclination, though it may always command such Assistance as may be in the Power of
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Colonial Office, Class 5, Volume 82, folios 63-64.
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