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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Samuel Spencer
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
August 13, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 572-573

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Newington, 13th August, 1777.

Dear Sir:—

Your favors from Col. Blount and from Halifax I have received. I should have been glad to have the pleasure of your company here on your way to Halifax; but under the circumstances you laboured, I could not expect it. In consequence of an affidavit made by Dr. Burke against Alexander Outlaw, which I had the honor to receive from you, the latter appeared before a magistrate in this County, when I was present, there are several other charges against him of a similar nature, he told me himself; but with confidence assured me, that he was not under the least apprehension of any of them affecting his life; indeed I think, from the nature of our Constitution, any charges against him prior to the formation of that could not, with any degree of propriety be punished. However, these matters must be left to you and others, whose business it is to determine them in a judicial way. Outlaw told me he was desirous of entering, as a soldier, in the service of his Country, and that by his example and diligence in the recruiting business he thought he should be able to render essential service to the common cause; but although he had weight with the common people, he had many enemies among those who looked on themselves in another class, and those, the latter, he was apprehensive would use their best endeavours to get him bound over from court to court, or perhaps restrained of his liberty altogether, for so long a time as to render his endeavours altogether futile in respect to his public service. At the same time he assured me that if I would permit him to go into the service, tho' he had been, and now is, a Captain in the militia service, & in the course of the present disputes had frequently turned out at the head of as large a company as most of those who have been carried into the field, he would inlist as a private, thinking he could in that character, be of more service in the recruiting business, and that, if by his conduct he in time should merit promotion, he did not doubt he should obtain it. I considered Outlaw's case and suffered him to inlist; and he has really been of considerable service, being very active and industrious he has prevailed on many others to enlist. In short, Sir, his conduct has

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been such as to cause me not to regret the indulgence I have given him, but to solicit your good offices, so far as is consistent with your duty as a Judge, in his favor, I persuade myself his future behaviour will be such as to wipe away any bad impressions his past may have occasioned.

I am &c.,

P. S. This incorrect scrawl you'll excuse, when I tell you the little time I have been writing it, was borrowed from my Indigo works, where I have no person to attend who has any judgment at all in these matters.