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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Documents concerning a military expedition to Cartagena, including related memoranda by William Noel Sainsbury
No Author
July 08, 1740 - March 31, 1741
Volume 11, Pages 42-45

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An exhaustive search has been made in the Colonial Correspondence as well as among the Admiralty and War Office papers to find what part North Carolina took in the expedition to Carthagena and from the extracts following we are able to glean a few facts but scarcely any details.

From Col. Gooch Lieut. Gov. of Virginia who had command of the “American Regiments” in the Carthagena Expedition we gather in his letter of 8 Feby 1740 to Sec: the Duke of Newcastle that four companies were raised in New England, Two in Rhode Island, Two in Connecticut, Five in New York, Four in Pennsylvania Two in the Jerseys, Three in Maryland, Four in Virginia and Four in North Carolina in all Thirty companies or about 3000 men and these were divided into four Battalions but without reference to the Province from which they were raised and were called “the American Regiments” so that it is not possible to specify any particulars as to the action of the men raised in either of the Colonies.

From the Extract of a Return of the American Regiments under Col. Gooch we find that in the 2nd Battalion was Capt. Coletrain with the remainder of his Company viz. two Lieuts, two Serjeants, two Corporals, One Drummer and forty centinels from North Carolina and this is the only name of an Officer from North Carolina to be found—Gov: Johnson in a letter to the Duke of Newcastle of 5. Nov. 1740. says “I have good reason to believe that we could have easily raised 200 more if it had been possible to negotiate the Bills of Exchange in this part of the Continent but as that was impracticable we were obliged to rest satisfied with four Companies.”


24 Sept. 1894.


Lt. Gov. Gooch to Duke of Newcastle dated New York 8. July 1740. I have taken upon me to advise the several governors to form Companies with the men as fast as they inlist according to the number of Commissions I have sent them which are thus distributed to New England Four, Rhode Island Two, Connecticut

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Two, New York five Pensilvania Four the Jerseys two Maryland Three Virginia Four, and North Carolina Four in all Thirty (A & W. I. vol 16. p. 134.


Col. W. Blakeney to Duke of Newcastle New York 31 July 1740. As to the American Levies they go on briskly even beyond what could have been expected during high Harvest and high Wages Mr Belcher writes that he shall be able to send ten or twelve companies from his Province: Mr Thomas eight from Pensylvania Mr Johnson five or six from North Carolina and indeed all of them wrote that they were surprised (taking it from the number of Commissions sent them) to find themselves restricted to any number of Companies.


W. Gooch to Duke of Newcastle dated Williamsburgh 9 Aug 1740 (America & W. Indies Vol. 16 page 135) “The Sloop hired to carry those for North Carolina, Maryland and this place, which was to have sailed the day I left that Province was detained after my departure by the Governor.”

[Am & W. Ind Vol. 61]


W. Blakeney to the Duke of Newcastle New York 11th Sept. 1740. There will be in all about forty one Companies viz from New England Ten Companies, from Connecticut Two, from Rhode Island Two, from New York five, from New Jersey Three, from Pensylvania eight, from Maryland three, from Virginia four, and four from North Carolina.



W. Blakeney to Duke of Newcastle Hampton in Virginia 23. Oct 1740. No. 106. The four Companies from North Carolina are likewise left behind, ∗ ∗ There will be four Companies from North Carolina which will proceed directly from thence to Jamaica.

[Printed in No. Carolina Colonial Records Vol. IV. p. 421.]


Gov. Johnson to Duke of Newcastle dated Edenton in North

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Carolina. 5 Nov 1740. [A. & W. I. No 23 p. 547.] I can now assure your grace that we have raised above four hundred men in this Province who are now embark'd and just going to put to Sea. In those Northern parts of the Colony adjoyning to Virginia We have got 3 Companies of 100 men each tho' some few deserted since they began to send them on board the Transports at Cape Fear. There is one Company consisting of above 100 Men whom I am just now going to see embarked. I have good reason to believe that we could have easily raised 200 more if it had been possible to negotiate the Bills of Exchange in this part of the Continent But as that was impracticable we were obliged to rest satisfied with four Companies.

[Am & W. Ind Vol. 61]


Col. W. Blakeney to Duke of Newcastle, Kingston Jamica 14 Dec. 1740. No 107. And now all the Troops from North America are safely arrived in this Port excepting the four Companies from North Carolina for whom I am under some Concern as the French and Spaniards have now such a superior Force in these Seas.

[N. B.]


Return to the American Regiments under Col: Gooch Cartagena Harbour Harbour 1744 Mar 31. (A & W. I. Vol 62 page 11)

2nd Battalion, Captain Coletrain with the remainder of his Company (viz) 2 Lieutenants, 2 Sergeants, 2 Corporals, 1 Drum and 40. Centinels are arrived from North Carolina.

N. B. Lord Cathcart died soon after his appointment to the command of the Expedition and Col. Blakeney succeeded him.

W. N. S.

[List of papers concerning the Expedition]

An abstract of our Proceedings from the time we came before Carthagena to the Day our Forces embarked from before Fort St. Lazaro By Justly Watson Engineer, No. 116.

Expedition to Carthagena in the year 1741 (in Capt. Knowles of Sept 10 1741) This gives a detailed account of the proceedings with explanations and Appendix.

A Journal of the Expedition that sailed from Spithead to the West Indies under the Command of the Right Honble Lord Cathcart

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in the Month of October 1740. (Endorsed Ld Elibank's Journal) No. 136.

N B No mention is made in the above as to what Regiments took part in the Expedition against Carthagena.

[Note.—The No. of companies which actually sailed proved to be 36, containing 3,600 men. Their apportionment from the respective Colonies were as stated in Gen. Blakeney's letter above dated 11 Sept., except that instead of “from New England 10 companies” read “from Massachusetts 5 companies”.—W. C.]

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: The return here dated March 31, 1744 should be dated March 31, 1741; by May of the latter year, the army had already left Cartagena.