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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Cornelius Harnett to Richard Caswell
Harnett, Cornelius, 1723-1781
August 23, 1777
Volume 11, Page 590

-------------------- page 590 --------------------
[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, August 23d, 1777.


I have the honor to enclose your Excellency a hand-bill published by order of Congress.—Gen'l. Stark has in some measure retrieved our affairs in the Northern Department: he is a Militia Brigadier from N. Hampshire, and has acquired great honor. The fleet of the enemy are arrived in Chesapeak Bay, what may be their intentions Congress is not informed, but are prepared, I hope, to disconcert their plan whichever way it may be pointed.

As Congress seem at present inclinable to fortify sea-ports at the Continental expence, I could wish your Excellency would be pleased to forward to the Delegates of your State, the plans of Cape Lookout Bay and of C. Fear river. I hope for the assistance of Congress in this business, I have, ever since I arrived in this City, proposed to my colleagues to write official letters jointly. This has not as yet been thought necessary. I only therefore can lay before your Excellency my own crude and indigested thoughts on subjects as they occur to me. Would it not be advisable to collect the arms dropped by our Battalions in Virginia and Maryland? Perhaps an application to the Governors of those States would effect this purpose. Bad as those arms are, they are better than none. Gen. Howe by his late manœuvres seems to have acknowledged the superiority of the American Forces. I should not be surprised, if in future he should continue to alarm us in different quarters. He may by these means distress the States, but I trust he can not conquer them by this kind of war.

I have heard of the intended insurrection in your State, and that Felix Kenan was at the head of it, I shall be much obliged to your Excellency for the particulars of that affair.

I am with the greatest respect,
Your Excellency's most obed't. & very hum'l. Serv't.