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Your favor of the 18th I received by Mr. Ferguson, on his return from Accabe, his commission about the negroes being at an end. The British, it seems, make a pretence that it was because Major Rudolph had taken a small party near their lines, and unless Gen. Greene returned them, they would not send a negro out; but this is a mere pretence, they had not the least right to make such a demand on the General. I should be extremely happy to have it in my power to oblige you, and serve Col. Horry, whose perseverance, firmness and merit, must be evident to everybody. Should the agreement be received, which I think there is little probability of, you may be assured that nothing in my power shall be wanting to serve him, Col. Horry; and, as Col. Moncrieff has the negroes, who is one of the principal opposers of the agreement being complied with, I will use my endeavors with the Governor, if he can do it with propriety, to make a particular demand for them. The measure was certainly amazingly to the advantage of the British nation ; and, if their troops here had not as little spirit with regard to them as our people manifestly show with regard to this State (by that d -d communication with the town, which has now over-run all bounds) they would gladly have complied with the agreement to a title; but private interest on their side has overset it. Leslie has been very anxious about it for months past, and seen the advantages we had over him, and made several overtures before it was brought to a point. For my part, my friend, I was always for keeping coolly the ground the Assembly left us, pointing out to the enemy the glaring superiority we had, and, at the same time, hinting that, if they wantonly distressed us, the Assembly, however willing of themselves, would certainly make use of the means in their power to do the State justice. This, as often as I had opportunity in private conversation with the Governor, I constantly gave as my opinion; however, his Excellency thought otherwise, and, without consulting the Privy Council at all, made the agreement himself. As soon as I saw it, I was very sorry for it, looking upon it as weak in itself, unnecessary, impolitic, humiliating, and pregnant with bad consequence to the State. Finding by the penning of the fourth article that the Privy Council seemed to be made parties thereto, though never consulted upon that ground, I took the liberty to write to his Excellency, expressed my disapprobation of it in the warmest terms, and pointed out many of its defects. This I mention to you as a friend. We are all indebted to you my dear sir, and I shall always be happy to have it in my power to discharge part of my public debt to you, by rendering you any agree able service. They still talk of the enemy s evacuating soon. I cannot but hear of the motions tending thereto as well as others; but seeing no reasons from within ourselves to oblige them to go away, but too many for their staying, I am still, and shall not think they intend absolutely to go until 1 hear they are over the bar. All their manoeuvring seems to be attended with a mixture of as much delay as possible, as if they still waited further orders, and were determined not to go a moment before they could possibly avoid.
Pray remember me to Col. Horry, and all enquiring friends with you. I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,
- Christopher Gadsden
- Documentary History of the American Revolution Consisting of Letters and Papers Relating to the Contest for Liberty, Chiefly in South Carolina, from Originals in the Possession of the Editor, and Other Sources, 1776