Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Cornelius Harnett to William Wilkinson
Harnett, Cornelius, 1723-1781
October 23, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 785-786


Favoured by Mr. Bradley

York Pennsylvania Oct. 23rd 1777.

Dear Sir,

A Gentleman is just arrived in Town who has been Lately in Genl. Gates Camp & says he saw Gen. Burgoyne with our General. The account he brings of the Surrender of the British is as follows; that 1 Lieut. General (Burgoyne) 2 Majors General, 7 Brigadiers, 2 English & 1 Irish nobleman and a Great Number of Officers and 5000 Privates were taken together with 40 ps Brass Canon, 15,000 stand of arms a quantity of Cloathing warlike Stores Baggage &c. &c. It is however surprising that Congress has received not a Line from Genl. Gates on this important matter. Genl. Howe has removed his army into or near the city and Genl. Washington's head Quarters are at German Town– Our people have as yet kept the Command of the river by possessing the Fort & Assisted by our little fleet who have repulsed the Enemys ships

-------------------- page 786 --------------------
Twice a Report prevails that the Defyance & Roebuck, were terribly shattered by our Gallies a few days ago– Shew this news to Mr. Hooper & Maclain &c.– Your Letter to Mr. Mitchell I sent to him & he acknowledged to me he received it, I never could get a sight of John Daldson all the time I was in Philadelphia I believe he is ashamed to see me. The family live in the Country as also Mr. Mitchel, West, Fuller & indeed all my old rcquaintances—I saw Mr. Tate about 2 weeks before I left Philadelphia he told me he had seen Jackey a short time before that in good health at Burlington the week Congress fled from the City. I intended to go to Burlington on purpose to see him– Let me know whether I am to bring him home with me in the spring– I shall take care to get him to me.

Negroes are not to be purchased at any price you would choose to give, Neither can I meet with a Distiller, all the Tradesmen except such as would not choose to remove are in the army, or employed by Congress at Excessive high wages. You had better employ a Distiller from Charles Town– I am entirely satisfied with the Sale of half the Distillery, & Mr. Brice's appointment to the management of it– I congratulate you on the success of the Comps. Vessels– You will be pleased to acquaint me who are the members Chosen for Our Counties about C. Fear & remember me kindly to all me friends. I have not time to write to any body but yourself & Mrs. Harnett– Give me the Prices current in Wilmington of Tavern Charges Market stuff- & other necessaries. I want to show the people here how cheap we can live in No. Carolina in propotion to the Extortion of this County– I am glad to find you have a kind of Press in Wilmington; I wish Jonathan would enlarge his paper, I really am ashamed to Shew our paper to the members of Congress. We have the Post at last established here, but no Press which prevents my sending you any News papers, I hope we shall not be long without this necessary method of Conveying intelligence I am

Dr. Sir,
Your sincere friend & Obedt. Servt.
William Wilkinson Esqr.