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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to Richard Caswell
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
May 02, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 463-464

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, May 2d, 1777.


I wrote you day before yesterday by an express going to Charlestown, and after I had sealed up the letter, some intelligence was opened in Congress, which I wrote on a slip of paper and put into the cover. I doubt not you will receive it.

Mr. Cochran of Cross-Creek going home to-day gives me an opportunity of giving you all the intelligence relative to that affair,

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which has been a little mischievous, and threatens consequences much more considerable than have happened. The inclosed paper contains the whole, as it was laid before the Congress; except a few expressions of General Arnold, complaining of the behavour of the Connecticut militia, and of the supineness of the country which suffered such an insult without resistance or proper revenge. You will easily perceive that publishing such things would have no good effect. As Mr. Cochran sets off at three today, and I shall be all the intermediate time engaged in Congress, I shall not have time to write by him to any friend who may be in the assembly. I must therefore entreat you to give the members of Assembly this intelligence in the most public manner you can.

An insulting letter written by the Captain of one of the Continental Frigates to the Governor of Maryland has excited great indignation in Congress. Tho officer is suspended, and ordered in five days to make such satisfaction as the Governor and Council shall accept or, failing, to be dismissed the service. Every gentleman, (a few only excepted) seem to feel his own State injured in this insult, and they are determined that nothing less should do, than what would satisfy Maryland, and convince officers that they were very inferior to the Magistrates of States, and must treat them with the most profound respect. I never had more hopes of Congress than I have now. All seem sensible that the honour and dignity of the Magistrates of the States ought to be preserved sacred and inviolable; whether for applying the force of the State, or restraining abuses, and suppressing ambition. Your Excellency knows enough of my political creed to believe that this disposition is exceedingly pleasing to me. I have not time to add more, but that I have the honor to be,

Yours &c.,
His Excellency Gov'r. Caswell.