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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Hewes to Richard Caswell
Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779
March 30, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 435-436

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton 30th March 1777.

Dear Sir:—

You will no doubt be surprised to find that I am still in Carolina, I fully intended to have set out for the Congress in Feb'ry, but I have been so much indisposed almost ever since I left Halifax, great part of the time with rheumatism, that I did not think it prudent to engage with a more northern climate lest I should be laid up on the road, & be useless to the public & my own private concerns. I am now getting much better & should have set out

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about this time had I not lately received some letters from Mr. Morris Chairman of the Secret Committee of Congress, requesting me to dispatch two vessels that are now here loading with tobacco on Continental account & bound for Nantes in old France. He says remittances are much wanted, & strongly urges the necessity of getting more vessels to go the same voyage. As I am a member of that Committee, & privy to most of their transactions, & am now already doing their business, I am almost as much in the way of my duty as if I was at Congress. If I was there much of my time would be taken up in chartering & loading vessels. There were but few merchants in that Assembly, which makes that kind of business fall heavy on Mr. Morris & myself. These circumstances I thought proper to mention to your Excellency, lest you should think me tardy. I want two vessels now for Continental service, one to go to old France, the other to Martinico. They are not to be had here on charter, & I have no power to purchase any on Continental account. Would it not be advisable for this State to purchase two or three good vessels & hire them to me for the above service. I have power to give high wages for suitable vesvels & to insure them? This plan would greatly serve the public cause, & could not be attended with any loss to this State. If any other methed could be hit upon by which I could be furnished, I should be exceedingly glad to have your Excellency's influences to expedite it.

I am with great respect and esteem,
Your Excellency's most obed. hum. servant,
His Excellency Richard Caswell. Gov. &c.