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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Penn to Richard Caswell
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788
September 07, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 214-215

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, Sept. 7th 1778.

Dear Sir:

When I was at New Bern last and was informed that several Gentlemen of the Assembly proposed to ask more money for the purpose of raising Troops for the Grand Army, I was against it and gave my advice that application should be made to Congress for whatever money was necessary for public use, giving them as a reason that I thought it more for the interest of North Carolina to be indebted to the United States, than the reverse that all the other States were occasionally supplied with money, and I was authorized to say (to the Treasury Board) that they would

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have money by the 10th of May; besides what money was made in our State was confined there. I also knew that no Governor or State when I left Congress was treated with more respect than your Excellency and those you presided over. I therefore had no doubt you would have received whatever money was necessary for marching the Troops without delay. Judge then Sir, of my surprise and chagrin when I found by your letter, which I got a few days ago which I most sensibly felt the indignity offered the State, I belonged to, by the little respect that was paid to her first Magistrate, and loudly complained of it in Congress. The members seem much concerned and resolved to grant us the sum you wrote for, indeed they appeared willing to do every thing that tends to our interest.

We shall send off the money as soon as we can, which will I expect be in a short time, Congress are obliged to meet twice a day, business still increases, in short unless persons are appointed not members to do some of it we must all be ruined. A few days ago we were in high expectation of taking all the British Troops on Rhode Island, now rejoicing that our Army was able to get away without being taken, the Newspapers will inform you the reason. We have no late intelligence from Europe. If the Assembly did not discharge the soldiers it is the wish of Congress that they may be kept in Carolina, under the officers until your Excellency can hear from them. The Express is setting off sent by the President which obliges me to stop. I should be happy to receive any intelligence that you may think proper to give me and with my Colleagues to do every thing in my power for the benefit of No. Carolina. I hope you will excuse the manner in which this appears from the hurry I am in.

I have the honor to be with great respect, your Excellency's most Ob. Servt.