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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to John Penn
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
August 13, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 207-208

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough 13th August 1778.


Your letter of the 15th ulto I received about a fortnight past, and as the General Assembly was appointed to meet here the third Instant, I detained the Messenger until your letter should be laid before that Body, the Commission I have furnished Col. Williams with, being strictly agreeable to the appointment of the Assembly. I did not consider myself at liberty to grant, by commission any powers not warranted in the appointment. The Assembly met the 8th and this day entered into the Resolutions of which I enclose you a copy. I also enclose you a Commission agreeable to the said Resolutions with the addition of two gentlemen chosen by the Assembly, your messenger has received here one hundred and twelve and an halfdollars, to defray his expenses whilst here and on his return.

I flattered myself when you assured me at New Bern, that the sum wanted for raising & marching the men voted to complete our Continental Battalions, could be had from the Continental Treasury, that in a week or ten days after application to Congress that the same would have been obtained, and took measures in behalf of the public accordingly. But to my great mortification and disappointment the messenger which I sent, after waiting three weeks upon Congress and the Treasury, returned with one-fifth of the sum drawn for, and without the least intimation why my Bills were not answered, for they were returned to me, or what sum was sent, indeed I was not honored with a scrape of a pen, on the subject, tho' I had repeatedly requested every assistance, and dispatch to be given the messenger and furnished every document necessary. The sum sent not being more than sufficient to pay the Bounty of 1000 Volunteers, the exhausted State of the Treasury here left us no alternative; a call of the Assembly became absolutely necessary, and the wisdom of that Body in their late session had lodged a power in the executive for that purpose.

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You now Sir know the inconveniences that have arisen, and may easily form some judgment of the injuries the State will sustain, the disappointment and fatigue of many individuals, occasioned by a reliance on your word; however enough of this for the present, perhaps you may hear more of this disagreeable subject after the rising of the Assembly.

One Regiment only of the new raised men has been completed, and marched under the command of Col. Hogun, the others still remain in the State for want of money to enable them to march, and it is now so late, that little is to be expected from them, 'tis not unlikely that the Assembly may direct them to be disbanded. Mr. Harnett I have no doubt has arrived at Congress before this and I hope Col. Williams will have recovered of the small pox, and have joined you before this arrives. My most respectful compliments attend you and them.

I am Sir, your mo. ob. Servt.