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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Williams to Richard Caswell
Williams, John
July 23, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 526-527

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Halifax, 23d July, 1777.


Yesterday morning Mr. Mallett arrived at this place from Cross

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Creek, and informs me that a few hours before he left home, Col. Hogan, who lives in the County of Orange, came into town, and informed him the day before he left home, he understood a number of people in the Counties of Orange and Chatham had assembled in a body, and he being desirous to know what it meant, went to them, and found upwards of a thousand embodied, who said they were going to Cross Creek to get the salt that was stored up. A Lieut. in the 9th Reg't., a person of character came from Guilford on Sunday last, who also tells me that, the day before he left home, he was at a public meeting of the people in Guilford, who seemed ripe for something daring and desperate, that they frequently drank the King's health, and damnation to all that would not join them.

To my own knowledge there is powder a plenty in the upper parts of this province, but not any lead to be got; but, as I understand there is several tons of lead belonging to this State at Cross Creek, I greatly suspect, under the cloak of getting salt, they want to lay their hands on that article.

These reasons, together with our having nothing to do, has induced me to order the different Regim'ts under my command at this place, to march immediately for Cross Creek, and endeavour to get there before them, as I understand they are not to leave Chatham until Thursday, so that I am in hopes to be before them, and prevent their designs, be they what they will. When I said we had nothing to do, I meant that we should not (I expected) be ordered to the Northward, until we had money to pay the men, and of course be here doing nothing these ten days perhaps.

Therefore, if your Excellency approves my conduct, please to direct the paymasters, that are to supply us with money, to attend at Cross Creek, where I intend to march with all the haste I can, and stay until I get further orders from you.

I am with the utmost respect,
Your mo. h'ble Serv't.,
His Excellency Governor Caswell.

P. S. I intend to get arms of such persons, as we march, as are well affected to the State.