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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Penn to Richard Caswell
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788
July 21, 1778
Volume 13, Page 198

-------------------- page 198 --------------------
[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia July 21st 1778.

Dear Sir:

I wrote to you the 15th Inst. by an express informing you that by the Commission Col. Williams obtained it would require three Delegates to be present before the State could have a vote, and then indeed we must be all of one opinion. As there are several Gentlemen here that represent the State they belong to singly, and as I proposed to our Assembly that they would choose four Delegates confining two to be here at a time, which was not done, the Members saying they would proceed the old way, I am induced to wish that your Excellency would send a Commission giving all or either of us a right to vote until November, when I think the Confederation directs two. I mention this again lest some accident should happen to the express.

Monsr Gerard the French Minister is here, he is a very polite and well bred man, Mr. Deane says he has been our first friend in France. The French Fleet cannot get nearer to New York than Sandy Hook, on account of their size, they have lately taken thither Transports loaded with provisions going to Lord Howe. We had a curious letter from the Commissioners lately, calling upon us to know, by what authority we presume to make treaties with the King of France, or any other foreign power, declaring we had no authority delegated to us, for that purpose by the Assembly's of the different States, before or since the supposed confederation; the answer was short, “that the British Fleet and Army not being sent away, nor the Independence of America acknowledged, no answer be given.” Enclosed is a Newspaper. I hope Sir you will forward a Commission by the first opportunity as desired unless you find some express resolution to the contrary, of the Assembly. Indeed I am perfectly satisfied from what I heard when at New Bern, that no alteration was intended. I feel myself in an awkward situation not having a right to vote, matters of importance will soon be debated. I have the honor to be with due respect your Excellency's most ob. Servt.