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[354] naval squadron which were known to be on the way,
Chap. LXII.} 1776. Apr.
the mechanics and laborers of Charleston, assisted by great numbers of negroes from the country, were employed in fortifying the town. When in April, under the orders of the continental congress, the veteran Armstrong arrived to take the command of the army, he found little more to do than receive the hospitalities of the inhabitants.

The designs against the Carolinas left Virginia

free from invasion. Lee, on his arrival at Williamsburg, took up his quarters in the palace of the governor; querulous as ever, he praised the provincial congress of New York as ‘angels of decision’ compared with the Virginia committee of safety. Yet his reputation ensured deference to his advice; and at
his instance, directions were given for the removal of all inhabitants from the exposed parts of Norfolk and Princess Anne counties; an inconsiderate order which it was soon found necessary to mitigate or rescind.

Letters, intercepted in April, indicated some concert of action on the part of Eden, the governor of Maryland, with Dunmore: Lee, though Maryland was not within his district, and in contempt of the regularly appointed committee of that colony, directed Samuel Purviance, of the committee of Baltimore, to seize Eden without ceremony or delay. The interference was resented as an insult on the authority which the people had constituted; the Maryland committee, even after the continental congress directed his arrest, still avoided a final rupture with British authority, and suffered their governor to remain at liberty on his parole.

The spirit of temporizing showed itself still more


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