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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from the North Carolina Council of Safety to Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, and John Penn
North Carolina. Council of Safety
June 24, 1776
Volume 11, Pages 300-302

[Council of Safety of N. C to N. C. Delegates to Continental Congress]

Whitfield Ferry Dobbs County
June 24 1776


By Copy of a Letter from Mr Hewes to Sam Johnston Esq.,

We have the satisfaction to find Our Delegate has been very Attentive to the interest of this Colony. The Powder in three Waggons arrived at Halifax some days ago, and we desire you will immediately forward the field Pieces, Medicines, &c. already granted by Congress. As the producing of Salt for the Consumption of this Colony is a matter of the utmost Consequence, and the Season for making it by Evaporation is too far advanced to make any progress before the Fall we desire you will immediately purchase Pans and Plates with every other Aparatus which you may judge cannot be procured here, for setting up a Large Work for boiling seawater into Salt, to be sent in Waggons to New Bern. We are of opinion it will be less expensive to purchase Waggons and Horses for transporting every article wanting from Philadelphia, than to hire them; as the waggons may serve for the Army,

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or be Sold for the use of the Colonies for as much, or perhaps more than they Cost We are Sorry to find the Congress do not think proper to put the 3 Companies of Light Horse raised in this Colony, upon the Continental Establishment. The nature & circumstances of the war we shall be obliged to Carry on in this Country renders such troops Necessary to gain Intelligence of the Enemies motions. Col Moore when encamped at Rockfish near Cross Creek missed a glorious Opportunity of attacking the Tories to great advantage in their Crossing the River for want of Intelligence a Party of Light Horse might have given him

You are therefore Gent. desired to press this matter to the Congress. We shall, by the next Opportunity Transmit a Letter from Gen. Lee on this subject.

By the latest Intelligence from the Western Frontier we have the greater reason to apprehend a War with the Southern Indians. We have taken every necessary measure to be prepared for the Event, but at the same time have directed the Commanding officer of that Department to prevent our people from Committing any Hostilities until the Indians make an attack upon them.

As Drums Colours & Fifes will be wanting for the four New Regiments of Continental Troops raised in this Colony you are desired to purchase and send them as speedily as possible together with Blankets and Cartridge paper which can not be procured here.

The River of Cape Fear is at present in a very Defenceless Situation, for the want of a parcel of Battering Cannon 12 & 18 pounders you will therefore Gentlemen urge to the Congress the absolute necessity of sending as speedily as possible a Sufficient Number of such Cannon; a Vessel of a small Draught of water suppose 6 or 7 feet, may enter many of the Inlets to the Northward of Cape Fear, such as Deep, New Topsail, Bear, Bogue, or Old Topsail Inlets. This adventure we have every reason to Hope and expect will be made at the Continental expence, as the sending them by water is dangerous, and it being impracticable to bring them by Land the loss would hardly be felt by the whole Continent, but must fall exceedingly heavy on a Colony already involved in an immense Load of Debt by its Spirited exertion in the Common Cause.

The Regiments raised here on the Continental Establishment are

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still very badly Armed & many of the Soldiers without arms. Every effort has been made but in vain, we have been reduced to the Necessity of Collecting Arms from many of our Militia, & should the Troops be obliged to march to the assistance of either of the Neighboring Colonies which is the case at this Time, 4 Regiments having marched to So. Carolina, we will remain in a very terrible Situation, wanting even the very means of Defence.

We desire Gentlemen you will in the most Forcible manner represent to the Congress the distressed and defenseless State of the People of this Colony are at present reduced to, In want of Arms to defend themselves, Very Little powder, the Enemy hourly expected to Land an Army on our Coast, our Ports Blocked up, A numerous body of People settled in the very Center of our country disaffected to the American cause, who although very lately Subdued, are only waiting a more favourable Opportunity to wreak their vengeance upon us, the apprehensions we are under of an immediate attack from the Cherokee Indians & Creeks on our Western Frontiers, The Vast expence this Colony has been at in fitting out Ships of war to protect her sea Coast, and keeping up Independent Companies for the same purpose, In Erecting Manufactures of Arms, Salt, Saltpeter, Powder Mills Sulphur (Steel) Iron & many other expensive matters too tedious to enumerate upon such a Representation. We have not the least reason to doubt but that the Congress will pay a very particular attention to the requisitions of this Colony.

For further particulars we refer you to Mr. Hooper who is very well acquainted with the situation of affairs here, we desire to be favoured with dispatches from you in every interesting Matter and shall be glad if you will furnish us with the resolves of the Congress since the last Publication—We are at a loss about Admiralty matters as settled in Congress with the regulation of Trade &c We shall write you more fully by next Conveyance and are

To Jos. Hewes Wm. Hooper & John Penn delegates

We shall as speedily as possible send to you Account of the whole Expence of the Expedition against the Tories to be laid before the Congress.