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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Cornelius Harnett to William Wilkinson
Harnett, Cornelius, 1723-1781
October 10, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 780-781


York Town Pennsylvania Oct. 10 1777

Dear Sir,

This makes the 11th Letter I have wrote you since I left home some on business and others with news– I have three days ago, rec'd your favours of the 4 & 11th Ulto. Poor Col Kennons family, I feel for them most sincerely. It gives me pleasure to know you have disposed of half the Concern to Gentlemen high, very high in my esteem. But you sold too cheap, such a Still as the large one, could not have been purchased in Philadelphia when I left it under £1500 this Currency—I am glad you have some Molasses to make a beginning with, your 5.000 gallons distilled with rum would fetch 60s per Gallon in this state & several others,

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it is amazing to see the advanced prices on every thing in this Country. I shall enquire as to a Distiller, but you may be assured you may purchase Negroes or any other article of Commerce 150 per cent. cheaper in No. Carolina than you could in Philadelphia before Congress left it, 500 dollars for a small Mulatto boy has been lately given– As to labourers, you may surely get them either on purchase or hire 100 per cent cheaper than I can possibly procure them here. The Distiller I shall attend to & procure one if possible– I shall be very happy if Mr. Brice will undertake the transacting the whole business of the Compt.– I am really surprised Mr. Benning should bring in any other Charge for repair I can only say I will not allow one farthing more than I did at the last settlement, he told me of a small matter which he said would be about 30s or 40s. I agreed to pay that, but I cannot Consent to the doubling the rum.

I refer you to the Bearer Col. Walton for news as he has every necessary information with him. He is a Georgia Delegate returning home. I beg you will be civil to him & introduce him to all our friends. He is a worthy man.

Mr. Quince & Mr. Ancrum never write to me, I have malice at heart against them both. I shall write to Mr. Brice fully in answer to his letters as soon as I can have it in my power to give him satisfactory Information. Tell him this. I have it not in my power to Correspond with Capt. Forster's brother or any other Gent in the Lower Counties. I would advise my friend Brice to go on with his administration in fact the people in that state are two thirds I may say ⅞ Tories, I hope Mr. Forster is not one of them—.

General Washington's Army marched towards the Great City, the 8th Inst. and I suppose intends to have another brush with the Enemy—God send his success. Our Northern affairs seem to be in a good train. Genl. Burgoyn is in a very Critical Situation. Good news is hourly expected from that Quarter. Colo. Walton is just setting off.

Dr. Sir,
Your sincere friend &c. &c.