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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to John Penn and Cornelius Harnett
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
February 07, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 31-32

[From Executive Letter Book.]

North Carolina 7th February 1778.


Your favor of the 9th January last I received some days past. In consequence I have written to Doct Guion and made some enquiry about his leaving the State from others, from him I have received no answer nor can I learn that he has any intention of removing or withdrawing himself.

I had the pleasure of writing you some time past, and enclosing sundry Resolutions of the General Assembly, which I presume you have before this received, and which will serve to answer the other, parts of your letter, as well as part of Mr. Harnett's of December, which I received but two days ago. He says that, “the several States are adopting spirited measures in order to fill up their Battalions against the Spring and I hope our State will not be behind hand with them.”

My good friend Mr. Harnett knows that by the Constitution of this State, nothing can be done by the Executive power of itself, towards this most desirable purpose and that the General Assembly is not to meet until the month of April, of course, ways and means cannot be fallen on to accomplish what he hopes, in time to render that service to the common cause, he and I both wish, and I think if there is any blame to be fixed on those who formed the Constitution a very considerable part he ought to take to himself for cramping so much the powers of the executive. I now find it out of my power to call the Assembly to a shorter day than that to which it is adjourned, tho' earnestly pressed thereto, by not only our own people but by the Legislature of a sister State, and business recommended both by Congress and the General of the American Army.

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I have lately purchased from some French Merchants clothing and some few Blankets to amount of 6 to £7000, which I shall send on with some shoes and tanned Leather to the Clothier General for the use of the Troops raised in this State, I imagine about four wagon loads.

I have also purchased at the request of the Commissary of purchases a considerable quantity of Pork and salt nearly to amount of £20,000, which will be lodged in proper Magazines.

Whatever else that can be executed by me, Recommended by Congress, or the Delegates of this State shall be most faithfully attended to.

I thank you for the Intelligence you give me, respecting the armies and other public matters. A report prevails here, that a revolution has happened in Canada, that they have acceded to the American Compact and have been received (by Congress) as the 14th state in the union. I shall have my own fears, I confess, that this account is too good to be true and cannot credit it, 'till further information properly authenticated which I hourly hope for, no other news here. With great regard and esteem I have the honor to be Gentlemen, your mo. ob. Servt.