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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from George Johnston to Richard Caswell
Johnston, George
March 29, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 433-434

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Headquarter's, Morris Town 29th March 1777.


Brigadier General Knox does me the favour of transcribing part of a letter which he this moment received from Col. Jackson commanding one of the 16 additional Battalions.

“Boston 20th March 1777

News, glorious news! Last Tuesday a large Ship arrived at Portsmouth from France: she has on board 1000 br'ls. powder, 12000 stand of arms—I say 12000 stand—a complete set of cannon for the Frigate at Portsmouth, and a very large quantity of linens, woolens &c., 'c., with a French General, Col. and major. These Gentlemen came well recommended by Dr. Franklin—She brings an account, that at the same time and from the same port a French 50 gun ship sailed for this port, with 50 brass field pieces and other warlike stores. All and every part of this may be depended upon as a fact. Yesterday arrived in this place two very fine prise ships from London, loaded with worth £50,000, sterling.”—Colonel Hazard, now at Fishkill, writes His Excellency in these words “I have received a letter from Boston, dated 20th instant, from which the following is extracted. ‘On the 8th instant arrived, at Portsmouth, an armed vessel of 14 guns, from France. Her cargo consists of 12000 stand of arms, 1000 br'ls. of powder, flints, guns for the frigate there, wollens, linens, &c, &c. She has been out forty days.—A 50 gun ship sailed at the same time, from the same place, for this port. We expect her heaving in sight every hour.

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She is richly laden with heavy artillery and military stores. Two very valuable prises are now riding in the harbour, both from London. They have woollens, linens, and summer clothing to a great amount. I had almost forgot to tell you that the Court of France has remonstrated against any more foreigners being brought to America, & that upon Dr. Franklin's arrival there, they demonstrated their joy by bonfires. Let me add the certain arrival, at Philadelphia, within a few days of a vessel from France with 6800 stand of arms, & 1500 double bridled gun locks on the public account, & 400 stand & several hundred locks on account of Capt. Stockor.'

With great respect your most obedient servant,
His Excellency Richard Caswell, Gov. &c.