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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Rawleigh Colston to Richard Caswell
Colston, Rawleigh
February 29, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 57-58

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Cape Francis Febry. 29th 1778.

May it Please Your Excellency:

Presuming that some plan has been formed similar to that in Virginia, for the purpose of procuring the necessary supplies for the Army, and that this is under the direction of Government, I take the liberty of tendering my services, should you have occasion for anything from this place. I must beg leave to acquaint your Excellency that I had the honor to be sent to this Island in December last by the Governor and Council of Virginia, as agent

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for that State; which I flatter myself will be considered as a sufficient testimony of my conduct.

The necessity of appointing agents at the different foreign ports, who are acquainted with your wants, language and customs, and feel for the interest of our Country must be apparent to your Excellency, and is still more so, to those who have witnessed the disadvantages that attend a defect in this respect. It is the policy of this Nation, and others that are best acquainted with the true interests of Commerce, to give all possible encouragement to those of their own Country, as by enriching individuals, they enrich the State. America has now an opportunity of following their examples, and the experience she has lately acquired, particularly in the Tobacco Colonies, should certainly dispose her to entrust the important and lucrative concerns of Commerce, in the hands of such as have a regard for her interests, and whose ultimate views are to restore to her to the fruits of their labours.

The rapid increase of American trade at this port, has rendered the commission business an object of attention, and determined me to reside here 'till the circumstances of our Country will admit of a more safe and extended trade. If I can render any services to your State, either in receiving any goods that may be directed from France, or in the purchase of any here, I shall be happy in your commands, and should your Excellency think proper to honor me with the agency of your State, it would greatly tend to promote my interest and influence to inclose an appointment in form, by different conveyance in a letter to his Excellency the Governor General and Commander in Chief of the Island of St. Domingo, which is the French appellation of their part of this Island. I am

Your Excellency's most obedient Servant,