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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Nathaniel Scudder, Gouverneur Morris, and William Whipple to Richard Caswell
Scudder, Nathaniel, 1733-1781; Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816; Whipple, William, 1730-1785
November 11, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 272-273

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, 11th Nov. 1778.

In Committee of Congress.


The great and increasing difficulties in the Quarter Master and Commissary Generals' departments have induced Congress to adopt the Resolution, of which we have the honor to enclose you a Copy. Among the measures immediately necessary for placing these matters on a proper foundation, is the acquiring a knowledge of the proper resources of these States. The articles of Consumption which we could most particularly be informed of are Flour, Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, Corn & Rice, Beef, Pork, working oxen and Horses, Cider & Vinegar. The ignorance and the interests of mankind oppose so strongly our wishes in this respect, that after every effort and every prudent precaution our information will perhaps be of far less importance than could be wished. It is however our duty to aim at it, and we have no reason to doubt your Excellency's concurrence in the steps necessary to obtain what we have in view, especially when it is considered how readily your own good sense will dictate the impracticability of continuing the War, at least of continuing it, to advantage, while we remain supremely ignorant of the supplies our Country is capable of affording. We have to entreat that your Excellency, from your knowledge of the productions of the several parts of your State, would appoint some proper persons in whose industry and secrecy you can confide, to make proper lists, through the districts you shall severally allot to them, of the quantity and number of such of the articles above named as are produced in it, which may probably be over and above the necessary consumption of the Inhabitants, and also as nearly as possible the quantity &c. which they consume over and above their own production, or of what they do not produce. We hope that these lists may be transmitted to us with all convenient speed, to the end that those proper arrangements may immediately be

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made, for the ensuing campaign. Upon transmitting an Account of the expenses which may accrue on this business, they shall immediately be paid.

You will perceive Sir that every precaution should be taken to prevent this object from transpiring lest as on many former occasions, the devoted adherents of Lucre should make a gain of the public distresses. We are respectfully

Your Excellency's most ob. huml. Servt.