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Black Pioneers
Formation Orders

On board the Pallissar Transport
Cape Fear River        
ye 10th May 1776     

To George MARTIN Esqr.
Captain of a Company of Negroes

having judged it expedient for His Majestys Service that the Negroes found on board the Shipping in this River should be formed into a Company, to be employed upon such Services as may hereafter be found necessary--

You will herewith receive a Commission bearing date the 2d April appointing you to the Command of that Company, together with Commissions for Robert CAMPBELL to be Lieutenant, & Thos. OLDFIELD Ensign in the same, and for your instructions and further direction in the Service committed to your Charge I am to inform you that previous to the admission of any Negro you are to take care that the Oath contained in the annexed paper be administered, and that he be properly attested before a Magistrate--

and as an encouragement to them to demean themselves with diligence & fidelity in the Service it is my direction that they are acquainted that they are to be regularly supplied with Provisions and to be decently clothed, and that they are also to receive such pay as may be hearafter determined, from which the Expence of Cloathing & Provision will be deducted--

and further that at the expiration of the present Rebellion that shall be intitled (as far as depends upon me) to their freedom--

And from my knowledge of you I shall rely on you and desire that it may be particularly recommended to the rest of the Officers to treat these people with tenderness & humanity.

I am &c.

University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 263, Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1776-1782.

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