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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Francis Brice to Richard Caswell
Brice, Francis
July 25, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 532-533

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Wilmington, July 25th, 1777.


In the death of Mr. John Forster the public have lost a warm friend to American liberty, and the privateer Gen'l. Washington is left without any one to procure the necessary articles for the ship's use, except the Captain who must purchase every material at a much larger price than a person particularly appointed for that purpose, as, if one was nominated, he might get a quantity of necessaries together, which would come much more reasonable than buying out of the retail shops.

I was at a loss who to mention to your Excellency as a proper person for the undertaking, 'till I recollected Mr. Robert Ellis, to whom I mentioned the circumstance, and he will readily accept the appointment, should your Excellency and the Council confer

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it on him. Mr. Ellis has been accustomed to the sea from his youth, & consequently pretty well acquainted with maritime affairs. I could wish your Excellency could order whoever is appointed, to replace the money advanced by Mr. Forster since his settlement at Newbern; if you should, I shall take care to have the acc'ts properly attested: The warrant your Excellency sent him by me I have in my possession.

I am your Excellency's hble servant,

P. S.

I am told Mr. Toomer will also act as Commissioner for the Washington, provided he was appointed. Mr. Toomer is a very active stirring man, he also knows something of shipping, and I make no doubt but he would fill that vacancy with much credit to himself and benefit to the public. I dont presume to recommend either of those Gent. to your Excellency, I only mention them as the only two who would undertake the business.

Your Excellency's Hble servant,
His Excellency Richard Caswell.