The General Committee of South Carolina

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From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

April 3. –This day the committee at New York received a letter from the general committee of South Carolina, in which they say: “The present struggle seems to us most glorious and critical. We seem to ourselves to stand upon the very division line between all the blessings of freedom, and the most abject vassalage. The very idea of an earthly power, which shall bind the present and future millions of America, in all cases whatsoever; in the direction of which we are to have no more voice than our oxen, and over which we can have no constitutional control, fills us with horror. To hold not only our liberty and property at will, but our lives also, as well as the lives of all our posterity! To be absolutely dependent for the air in which we breathe, and the water which we drink, upon a set of men at the distance; who, even when they abuse that power, are out of the reach of our vengeance, is a proposal which this colony hears with indignation, and can only submit to when there is no possible remedy. By the late detestable acts of the British Parliament respecting America, all mankind will judge whether that body may be safely entrusted with such a power. We have now appealed to the remaining justice of the nation; we have endeavored to arouse them to a sense of their own dangers; we have appealed to their mercantile interests for our defence. Our hopes of success are not yet damped by any thing but the possibility of disunion among ourselves. We have the pleasure to inform you, that in this colony, the association takes place as effectually as law itself. Sundry vessels from England have been already obliged to return with their merchandise, or have thrown it overboard as common ballast. 1

“We may assure you of our fixed determination to adhere to the resolutions at all hazards, and that ministerial opposition is here obliged to be silent; we wish for the day when it shall be silenced among you likewise. And whatever noise is made by the friends of arbitrary rule, about the design of those proceedings in your House of Assembly, we cannot, and will not believe that you intend to desert the cause. We feel ourselves bound to you by the closest ties of interest and affection. We consider this season as big with American glory, or with American infamy, and, therefore, most ardently wish you the direction and aid of that Almighty Being, who presides over all.

“We confidently expect to meet you in General Congress at Philadelphia, with hearts full of zeal in our country’s cause, and full of mutual confidence in the integrity of each other.”2

 

1 Lately arrived at Charleston, S. C., Captain William Carter, of the snow Lively, from Falmouth and Teneriffe, having imported two tons of potatoes, which fell under the last clause of the tenth article of the Continental Association. Bather than endanger the health of his people by carrying them back, he chose to throw them overboard into the river, which he did in presence of the Committee of Observation. —Pennsylvania Packet, April 8.
2 This letter was signed by Charles Pinckney as chairman and published in the Pennsylvania Packet, April 10.

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