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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Robert Smith to Richard Caswell
Smith, Robert
July 31, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 551-552

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton 31st July, 1777.

Dear Sir:—

Your most obliging favours of the 27th by Egan I had the Honor to receive yesterday and am really sorry nothing could be done about the Taminy as she is now fully loaded and I suffer greatly as the whole blame of her detention seems by the people to be laid to my door. It is with real concern I observe your Excellency will once more be under the disagreeable necessity of turning out to restore order in your Government and you have my most earnest prayers for your success, nothing I can do shall be wanting to help bring about so desirable an end. Should Col. Dauge with his men call he shall have every necessary can be had for him, as well arms as provisions, and the two Field Pieces, but from the best information we can obtain our neighbors in Martin, upper end of Tyrrell, and Bertie, are not like long to be quiet. We had them placed to guard the magasine with a strong guard constantly kept up, the readiness of the Country as well as the Militia of this Town to perform this service I can not omit mentioning with great pleasure and with no less satisfaction. I can inform your Excellency we have never yet had reason to doubt any person in this County Perquimans, Pasquotank, or Currituck having any hand in the conspiracy at least none are yet impeached or even suspected. Last night Mr. Brimage was brought under guard to this Town from New Inlet and was committed to gaol. He with

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one Smith had got acquainted with a certain Campbell, as he called himself, who said he was Lieut. of a man of war, and were endeavouring to get on board one of the ships at Virginia the two former were taken, the latter stole a boat and made his escape, Smith is bound over. I would now send your Excellency a copy of the depositions with proceedings thereon, but have really not time to have them copied. I saw some time ago I think about the middle of June last a letter to your Excellency from Mr. Bondfield with his resignation as Judge Associate of the Court of Oyer. We shall have many unhappy devils to take their trial for their life next Oyer Court and as I have not seen any new Commission I must confess I feel myself deeply interested in this matter. Your Excellency will see, and I dare say view the present situation of this Country in as deplorable a light as I do—an exasperated Jury and a Lay Judge, my God! What may we not expect? Law should be strictly attended to, severity exercised, but the doors of mercy should never be shut—would a good Lawyer act at this time I am convinced it would be a great means of giving dignity to Courts, strength to the Law, and restoring union to this distracted Country. Had the Assembly thought proper last time to have appointed Mr. Johnston he assured me then he would have acted, on that subject I have not of late conversed with him.

I have the Honor to be
Your Excellency's most obed.
and very Hble serv't.,