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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Forster to Richard Caswell
Forster, John
March 01, 1777
Volume 11, Page 401

-------------------- page 401 --------------------
[From Executive Letter Book.]

Wilmington March 1st1777


Agreeable to the orders of your Excellency and the Council, I am now heaving down and preparing the privateer Gen1 Washington to take her station for the defence of this River, but am much afraid (should even Ball be procured in so short a time) She will be delayed much longer than I could wish for want of Hands—as from this Port being so long blocked up by the King of England's Ships, most of the Seamen have enlisted in the Land Service of the United States. Before there was a Commission for fitting out Armed vessels in this State those who did not enlist have gone to other parts, and the encouragement given in the Merchant service and on board private vessels of war by our neighboring states, so far exceeds the Continental pay that were ever so great a number of sea-men here, there would be but very little probability of my shipping a sufficiency of men, for the Washington, but as none are to be got here, I see no prospect of her being Man'd without your Excellency in Council could advise me or fix on some expedient, how men may be shipped with dispatch.

Most respectfully
I am your Excellency's mo. ob. humbl Serv't,