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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Johnston to Thomas Burke
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
April 19, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 453-455

[From the Executive Letter Book.]

Hayes April 19th 1777.

To Thomas Burke Esqr.
Dear Sir

I hold myself much indebted to you for your favor of the 16th of last month, which reached me only two days ago, and though the nature of your Politics, will not permit you to descend to particulars, yet such general sentiments, as you may think yourself at liberty to express, will always be an acceptable present to me, who though almost entirely unconnected with Politics and Politicians, am not the less anxious for the welfare and happiness of these States. I am perfectly of your opinion, that the only object of importance at present, is the Defence of the Country. Until that is effectually secured, leagues, Confederacies, and Constitutions are premature,

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except as temporary expedients. I wish that sentiment prevailed more generally, and that it was not already too confidently believed by those, at a distance from the scene of action, that every thing was done, and that we should every one live quietly under his own Vine and Fig-tree.

Reports have been propagated that Gen. Washington's Army was so full, that it would be unnecessary to send troops from the Southward. I wish, but doubt the fact, for I am afraid from every circumstance I can collect, that no considerable reinforcement will go from this State.

I am told that if necessary, the Militia will turn out, but this you know is but a temporary expedient, and that they, cannot act at any great distance from Home. I have heard that the Assembly has met.

The Senate have chosen Samuel Ashe, and the Commons. A. Nash, as Presidents. Some disputes I am told have arisen between the two Houses about precedency and that the business stands still, until that punctilio is settled, a circumstance, I am afraid, which will be attended with difficulty, for want of an Umpire.

Poor Gen. Moore is dead from a fit of Gout in his stomach, it is a pity he had not had an opportunity of showing his Military talents in a more active scene. In that case I am inclined to think he would not have fallen a victim to the Gout.

I wrote to you some time since of my having drawn some Bills, in consequence of the Governor's warrant, on the Treasury of the United States, which warrant I likewise enclose you. Since that, on the 15th of this month– I have drawn in favor of Ralph Collins, for three thousand, four hundred and thirty five dollars, and this day in favor of Samuel Butler, for one thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars.

I am to set out in two days for Newbern, from which place, if any thing interesting occurs you shall hear from me.

Yesterday a vessel arrived here, loaded with arms for the State of Virginia in thirteen days from Staten. She brings no news. My family are well and thank you for your remembrance of them.

I am with the greatest Respect and Esteem
Dear Sir,
Your most obed't Serv't

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P. S. If there should be a gentleman in Congress, from Connecticut of the name of Law, pray make my most respectful compliments to him.