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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Abner Nash
Nash, Abner, ca. 1740-1786
April 19, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 719-720


Newbern April 19th 1777

Dear Sir,

I had the pleasure to receive your favour by Mr. Barnard and thank you very much for the attention you p'd to the affair of the prize Brig Hanover—as you suspected an appeal has taken place but not from the quarter of wh. you treat, I mean the state- but on behalf of the owners of the Letter of marque Sloop who pretended to sieze her— as the trial happened but a few days before the meeting of Assembly Mr. Coor the Collector thought it but a Compliment due to the state to enter an appeal that the Assembly might have it in their power to proceed thereon or not— & the Assembly not choosing to take up the matter, no security was ever entered by the Collector nor any step taken further so that the matter died. As to any claim on acct of the State indeed all ranks and degrees of people, the Disaffected only excepted have warmly expressed their desire that the people should have the earnings of this risk & labour— & had the Court of Admiralty decided in favour of the Pub. I have no doubt at all but the Assembly almost wt. a unanimous Voice would have bestowed the prize to the men— and I hope and flatter myself the Honourable body of wh. you are a member will upon a hearing think the Judgement just and Equitable & confirm the same, agreeable to the general wishes of every body here— two Days ago Capt. Davise in the employ of Mr. Stanly arrived from the French West Indies– he brings an acct of a matter similar to this exactly— a vessel of the United States put into St. Thomas's the Capt. went ashore & the majority of the seamen being English they mutinied lashed a plank on the Bows and told the mate to take his choice either to walk over Board or navigate that vessel into Tarbola, the latter alternative

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of course was embraced— the vessel carried into Tarbola condemned & distributed among the seamen; this the young Gent son of our printer and of exceeding good character offers to make oath to and I believe has or is to do.

Mr. Folger agent for the people on this appeal is furnished with a Copy of Petition & resolve of our General Assembly respecting this affair by wh. it appears that the State has no claims nor any means to set up any– they have ordered the money to be paid over to Mr. Ellis the People's agent subject to such decree as the Congress shall make between Barron & Co & the people on trying the appeal— I hope it is not improper for me to express a wish that the Congress may dispatch this matter soon— with regard to news this way I am to Inform you tis my full Belief the Assembly will not open Courts nor even make a Ct. Law this Session most of the members being averse to such a measure in the present unsettled state of affairs— our Assembly have paid a Compt. to our worthy Delegate Dr. Burke wh. no private man has experienced before—a new County taken from Surry is called after him— a warm struggle is likely to take place between Mr. Penn & Hughes for a seat in Congress my belief is the former will succeed we have Elected and last Saturday proclaimed our Governor Caswell & the Council of the State we are all harmony & a perft. good agreemt. as far as I can see is likely to prevail in our Houses of Legislature I have no more to say but again to recommend to your prying mind the Case of these poor men. I remain with very great regard & Esteem

Dear Sir Yr obedt Servt.