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[358] Charleston; and as intelligence was received, ‘that
Chap. LXII.} 1776. May.
the works erected by the rebels on Sullivan's Island which was the key to the harbor, were in an imperfect and unfinished state, Clinton was induced to acquiesce in the proposal of the commodore to attempt the reduction of that fortress by a sudden attack,’ to be followed up by such other immediate efforts as might be invited by ‘a moral certainty of rapid success.’

With these purposes, the British prepared to retire from North Carolina; but Martin, before leaving his government, sent a party to burn the house of Hooper, a delegate in the continental congress; Cornwallis, with nine hundred men,—it was his first exploit in America,—landed in Brunswick county, and with a loss of two men killed and one taken prisoner, burned and ravaged the plantation of the North Carolina brigadier, Robert Howe; and Sir Henry Clinton, in conformity with his instructions from the king, issued his proclamation on the fifth of May, against committees and congresses, and inviting the people ‘to appease the vengeance of an incensed nation,’ offered pardon to all who would submit, except Robert Howe and Cornelius Harnett.

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