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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Hooper to Richard Caswell
Hooper, William, 1742-1790
July 21, 1777
Volume 11, Page 528

-------------------- page 528 --------------------
[From Executive Letter Book.]

Tinian, July 21st, 1777.


By the death of Capt. Forster who was appointed a Commissioner for the Washington armed vessel, it has become necessary that his place should be immediately supplied. As the Assembly have invested the Gov'r & Council with a power for this purpose, it becomes very interesting to the public that they should exercise it without delay. The Gentleman who was appointed to the command of the vessel is perfectly at a loss how to act, as he does not conceive himself at liberty to make any movements of himself, and there is no one from whom he can obtain instructions. The supply of the ship's crew is a matter also that is solely within the duty of the Commissioner, and unless this is regularly had, those on board the vessel must leave her to seek support elsewhere. I have in vain sought for some person versed in maritime affairs and in other respects qualified for this vacant office, but the few of this character refuse to undertake it, urging as an excuse, that the trouble which will attend it will be very considerable, that they will be under a necessity to advance their own monies for public purposes, and experience the same want of generosity which Capt. Forster complained of in the reimbursement.

The Capt. of the vessel informs me that Mr. Toomer will undertake the office of Commissioner. His character in point of industry and integrity is unsullied, and his capacity in the common affairs of life good: he is not a seaman by profession, but upon the whole, with his other good qualities, has the best pretensions, to it of any I know here who will accept the charge. I have heard that Capt. Ellis is not adverse to this office, but as he lives 12 or 14 miles from the town, I doubt it would be attended with inconvenience to himself and the public.

I am Sir with the greatest respect
Your Excellency's most ob't. serv't.,