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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Matthew Locke
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
March 31, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 81-82

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Newington, 31st March 1778.

Dear Sir:

I have your favor of the 24th inst. by Mr. Gibson containing an account of your purchase of shoes, leather and skins for the public, the prices are high, but the necessities of our army are such as to require them to be had at any rate, and as I am satisfied you have bought an the best terms you could, I can but thank you for the public as well as on my own account, for the pains and trouble you have taken in this very essential business, and in order to enable you to finish your purchase of the leather you mention, I send you by Mr. Gibson $2,500 dollars, and request you will give the price required to-wit 8c pr. lb. for good tanned leather. The articles you have purchased as well as those purchased by Maj. Smith, you will be pleased with Mr. Smith's assistance to procure wagons, and send on with the greatest despacth. You know the current prices in your part of the country, and to you and Mr. Smith I leave the management entirely. The wagoners should sign two receipts of the same tenor and date, expressing the number and weights of the particular articles they carry, they are to be delivered to the Clothier General of the Continental Troops, at Lancaster who is to give them receipts for what they deliver him, one of each of the receipts the wagoners give you should be enclosed to the Clothier General, and the other sent down to me with your account which you will be pleased to furnish me with by some gentleman, coming down in the time of the Assembly, and as it is probable the wagoners may choose to receive their wagonage at the Northward. I have wrote the treasurer to answer yours and Mr. Smith's or either of your drafts in their favor a copy of the letter to him I inclose you and request you will observe its contents.

We have no news from Camp. The Army seem content in their winter quarters. I have been most earnestly requested to fall upon ways and means to fill up our Continental Battalions, and send them on early to assist in the Campaign. But you know nothing can be done 'till the meeting of the Assembly. Rumors

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prevail that Lord Chatham is at the head of the Ministry in Britain, and that a cessation of arms is shortly expected, but no certainty of those things. That Lord Chatham may be at the head of the Ministry I most sincerely wish, but hope never to know with certainty that hostilities are to cease 'till our Independence is acknowledged by Britain.

I wish you health and happiness. I am dear Sir, most respectfully yeur obedient Servant,