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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Henry Giffard to Richard Caswell
Giffard, Henry
July 28, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 743-744

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]

Cross Creek, July 28th, 1777.
May it please your Excellency

The bearer hereof Mr. John Ramsay has shown me a citation directed to him and his wife to shew cause why the last will of Matthew Drake should not be admitted to proof, and Letters Testamentary granted; The Time given therein, and other Circumstances, are immediately necessary to be exhibited before you, and unavoidable Business intervening renders it totally impossible that his Evidence, with the necessary proof, can attend; being connected with a variety of Circumstances. I am concious, your Excellency, would not suffer any thing to be done before you that had the least shew, or collour of violation; so I am certain from my own knowledge of the Business I can undoubtedly prove the will to be sureptitious and fraudulently obtained; perhaps the Evidence by whom they intend to prove the will, would upon close examination confess as much; but if he should not, Mr. Ramsay, has others who will prove the deceased was not in his proper Senses many days before he died.

Your Excellency is conscious that a will should be proved by two witnesses at least, if Living, and as there is two living, consequently they should be present before they can obtain a Probate;

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for the above Reasons, and for want of due Time to summons the Witnesses who will prove the collusive manner of obtaining the will, with the Insanity of the deceased at the Time, Mr. Ramsay humbly prays you will grant him a further day—at least admit him to enter his Caveat against the will, when I do not doubt but it will be in his power to lay open a scene of the Blackest die, which when shown, will carry conviction in itself sufficient to destroy the validity of the said will iniquitous and unjust. Should you be of opinion that Bond is necessary to prosecute the Cause, I am willing to become Mr. Ramsay's Security for any sum you shall judge expedient.

I flatter myself you will not think the above Request unreasonable as it may serve to develope Truth and expose Fraud, which was the Reason the County Court of Chatham would not admit the will to proof, and from a Personal knowledge of Facts granted Letters of Administration.

I am with all Respect Your Excellency's most Obedient Hum. Sevt.