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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to William Aylett
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
January 28, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 16-17

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Newbern 28th January 1778.

Your favor of the 12 Currt. by Mr. Davenport I recd yesterday with 20,000 Dollars, and the several papers mentioned by you. It would have given me pleasure to have seen you here, and I would most cheerfully have assisted you in every measure in my power, but as the duties of your appointment, and the essential service to your Country, which you are engaged in has prevented my having the satisfaction of seeing you and consulting with you on some matters very interesting in your department, I shall content myself in assuring you that everything which may be in my power to accomplish for the service of the public and which falls in your department shall be attended to and receive the dispatch that their importance requires.

I have not yet met with a proper person to employ as your assistant, Commissary of purchases. But have written to a Gentlemen whom I think very fit and able to perform the duties of such an appointment, from him I expect to hear in a few days. In the mean time I shall do the very necessary business myself. I have already laid out the whole or very near it of the money you sent having purchased 600 Bushels of Salt, at £5 this currency, and 290 Barrels of Pork at £16. do: and agreed for some other quantities of each article. But as business of every kind is best done with money in hand, I must recommend your sending out so soon

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as you possibly can, any sum, not exceeding 50,000 Dollars. I think it may be laid out for the articles, and at nearly the price above, if you think these are too high, advise me as soon as possible, lest I should engage too far. I thought it best to offer what I call a generous price at once, which is now the height of the market. Whether you will have any of the Pork or salt sent unto South quay, or if you will have it stored in a proper Magazine here, please inform me. Tis rather too late to expect any quantity of fresh Pork to be purchased, what is to be got here is chiefly barreled already, that which is bought for the public, shall be in good order and ready to be disposed of as you shall direct. I would not wish to be understood that 50,000 Dollars more will be as much as may be laid out in provisions here, but I think it will be a sufficient sum to answer the present exigencies. If a further sum shall be necessary, on receipt of that I shall advise you. I have written his Excellency Gov. Henry, and assured him of every assistance I can give in your Department. I think no labour or trouble too great in these very necessary businesses to be performed for the public, and hope you'll freely ask any thing you think in my power to perform without apoligizing, as I really consider it as a duty I owe a Country, I wish to save.

I am with great respect Sir, your Mo. ob. Servt.