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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Robert Howe to Richard Caswell
Howe, Robert, 1732-1786
January 15, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 361-363

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Charlestown, 15 January, 1777.

Dear sir,

I have just heard of your being appointed President of the State

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of North Carolina, in which situation I wish you happy, and upon which I congratulate you. I received from the Council of Safety by the hands of Colonel Sumner, a Resolution directing me to demand of the State of S. Carolina, the men which by order of General Lee were translated from the N. Carolina Continental Battalions to those of S. Carolina and Georgia. This Resolve bore date the 25th October 1776, but never got to my hands till this fourth of January, 1777. I immediately waited on the President, and laid the Resolution before him. He has promised to call a Council upon the occasion, and seems to think that this State will not be against returning the men, provided it can be done with propriety; but that many difficulties were to be got over before it could be affected, the extraordinary bounty given by the State, over and above the Continental, no less than six pounds, five shillings proclaimd money per man, with other expenses entirely local, the discharge of the men from the N. Carolina Battalions by order of General Lee before or since their enlistment into the S. Carolina Corps, so that if discharged from the service of this State, it will be optional in them whether they will enter into the service again or not, with many other objections which I have not time to repeat, and which it would be really difficult to get over. I persuade myself however, that your State will rather let the men remain where they are, than repay to this State the extraordinary bounty mentioned above, without which, and the payment of the other local expenses, you need not expect a return of the soldiers. I shall however transmit you their determinations as soon as I have them. Col. Sumner surprised me by telling me that he heard many members of the Council of Safety and Convention say that they had not heard from me upon this subject, and were concerned at it: as soon as ever I received the order I wrote to the Council and Convention, and enclosed a copy of it. I now send you a copy of my letter, to which I long since expected an answer, but not having been favored with one, I concluded that nothing further was to be done in this matter. I have addressed this letter to you, and as I know not what Board are established with whom I ought to correspond, I must take the liberty to trouble you to lay it before them if necessary.

I am Dr Sir, with great respect and esteem,
Your Excellency's most obedient humble serv't,

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P. S. I shall transmit you the names of the men enlisted, and to what officers the bounty money was returned when they were enlisted.

His Excellency Richard Caswell.