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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Arthur Boyes to Richard Caswell
Boyes, Arthur
August 19, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 753-754


August 19th 1777

May it please your Excellcy:

My reasons for enlisting are these, I last year maintained my Father in law's family to the Amo. of £15, I afterwards married furnishing every rag my wife has, this with my own necessities reduced me to sell a pair of silver buckles and run three dollars in debt of two handkercheifs I had very old and worn out and two more made of an old fine shirt, there is none left here, fit to wear, aprons she has one, no ribbands, so I could not keep her nor endure myself to board at a tavern though I have found Country Quarters. But may it please your Excellency I have a wife with out Cloaths; A school with out benches: shirts and shoes both past mending. I have sold my Cloaths to Capt. Armwell Hearn and have his Note for £12 but having no Coat I bought a hunting shirt for 5 dollars, if I leave my lodgings I must pay for them, the Note is not due till Sept 28 my shirt, lodging, Debt &c. with her board both here and at home must be paid out of the Note. But what is worst of all her father's character is so bad I would rather

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quit her altogether than she should stay 12 months near him. My own folly brought my distress upon me and death alone frees me. To stay here and see her perish is more than death, to provide her and myself seems impossible. My intention is therefore to enlist, pay my debts with the Bounty and what remains put in Capt. Zenas Parker's hands for her use and when I have done all in my power for her trust to a Good God who having fed me all my life unto this day I Trust and Believe will not lett her be destitute and preferment (I hope no impossible event) may yet render me capable of maintaining her but as I would bear any misfortunes rather than your Excellency'e displeasure I shall not enlist till I know it. Humbly hopeing it will not be long I presume to subscribe myself with the greatest Respect

Your Excellency's
Most Obed and
Most Humble Servant