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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Spencer to Richard Caswell
Spencer, Samuel, 1734-1793
September 08, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 612-613

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Salisbury, 8th of September, 1777.

Dear Sir:—

I had the honour of your favour by Capt. Outlaw by whom I intended to have wrote to your Excellency from Wilmington, had he not left that town sooner than I was apprised of. When he delivered me your favour, I told him that I was very glad to be informed of the circumstances that seemed to operate in his favour: but that out of Court I had no judicial power, and in Court I had no authority to dispense with the Laws of the State, or the forms of trial: that if he had been guilty of any crimes or offences, his pardon and indemnity must ultimately come from your Excellency, or the Legislature: that from your recommendation I should be disposed to extend any lenity to him, that I could do consistent with my duty as a Judge, and with the concurrence of the Gentlemen jointly appointed with me to execute that office: But whether DeBruhl was a proper witness to be admitted against him, or whether the Resolve of the last session of the Assembly, respecting the enlistment of persons accused of crimes or offenses before a certain time, extended to his case, were matters I could not determine out of Court. Upon which he went off in a day or two after without saying any thing further to me, and without appearing in Court to save the forfeiture of his recognisance. His default was therefore recorded, and a bill of indictment was found against him on the testimony of DeBruhl, and process was accordingly awarded thereon in common form. I have now finished my circuit, if it may be called such: and have with the assistance of my several

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colleagues, in office, and in the best manner I could, proceeded in and determined a great variety and multiplicity of criminal causes and matters, I hope to the tolerable satisfaction of the public. I hope to have the honour and the pleasure of waiting on you some time in the next session of Assembly. And am with sincere respect and esteem, Dear Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,