The Papers of Henry Laurens


[Page 383]

Isaac Motte to Council of Safety

Gentlemen,

This moment the Boat of the Tamar Sloop of War appeared off of the Fort & hail'd the Same, with what Troops are in the Fort, ansr: American Troops_ Question, Who commands them_ Ansr Reply[1] By what authority do you ask it_ Ansr: By the Governor's_ And I have a Message for Coll. Motte_ Coll. Motte reply'd he wou'd send an Officer to receive it upon wh: he sent Capt. Pinckney_[2] to whom the Messenger say'd he had a Message for Coll. Motte from the Govr:, wch: he woud deliver to him if Coll. Motte, wou'd assure him he might land with safety_ Captain Pinckney say'd he was sent by Coll.[3] Motte to receive the Message & that he wou'd deliver it to[Page 384] Coll. Motte as soon as he had heard it The[4] Messenger say'd he was desired to deliver it to Coll. Motte himself and begd Capt. Pinckney to acquaint Coll. Motte with it_ Coll. Motte sent for ansr: by Capt. Pinckney that he might Land with safety to deliver the Message to Capt. Pinckney, who wou'd deliver it to him_ that he wou'd not suffer him to come within the Garrison, nor wou'd he go down to receive it_ the Messenger say'd if Coll. Motte will not allow me to enter the Garrison, nor have the condescendc ion to come down to the Sally Port to receive it, I cannot deliver it to him_ Capt. Pinckney reply'd, if you'll deliver the Message to me, I'll report it with great exactness to Coll. Motte_ the Messenger ansd: I will; but I beg you'll deliver it with very great exactness, as much depends upon it_ The Message is, that the Govr: desires to know by what authority he took possession of this Fort & by what authority he holds it. Which Message being delivered to Coll. Motte he immediately returned for ansr: by Capt. Pin[ckney][5] that he had taken possession of this Fort & [torn] holds it by the express command of the Council of Safety of this Province_ The whole of this transaction passd between Coll. Motte & Capt. Innes.[6] I must beg you'll give me instructions as soon as possible how I am to act in the mean time Col. Motte will defend to the utmost extremety_ this will be delivered to You by Lt. Walters,[7] who will wait for your orders._

I have the hono¯r to be
Gent: Yor: &ca.

Isaac Motte

ALS, South Carolina Militia Papers, 1775-1779, NN; addressed on cover "Henry Laurens Esqr. / President of the Council / of Safety._"; dated "Fort Johnston 1/2 past 6 / o'Clock 15 Sepr. / 1775."; docketed[Page 385] by HL "Collo Motte 15 Septr. / 1775 Answd_ immediately_"; numbered "3-33".
[1.] Word added in left margin.
[2.] Capt. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of the Second South Carolina Regiment of Foot.
[3.] "Col." written over "Capt.".
[4.] "The" written over "He".
[5.] Manuscript torn.
[7.] Lt. John Allen (Alleyne) Walter (1752-ca. 1787), of Capt. Francis Marion's company of light infantry, requested permission to resign his commission one week later because of poor health. John Allen Walter to Council of Safety, Sept. 22, 1775, S.C. Militia Papers, 1775-1779, NN; Journals of S.C. Provincial Congress, pp. 47-48; South Carolina Historical Magazine, Xl (1910), 91; "Diary of Captain Barnard Elliott," Charleston Yearbook, 1889, p. 165.