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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Robert Smith to Richard Caswell
Smith, Robert
December 10, 1778
Volume 13, Page 325

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton 10th Decr. 1778.


I am sorry to inform you that the Brig “General Gates,” Captain Cunningham, in the Latitude of Bermuda, had the misfortune to be overset and totally lost. Whether Captain and Crew were saved or not we know not, but are anxious about their safety, as there were on board six young Gentlemen of the first families, and best expectations in this part of the Country, who went Volunteers to try their fortune. This together with the low markets in West Indies as well as in Europe prevents our sending out at this time the Brig. Lord Chatham, otherwise I should now enclose your Excellency a Bond executed for the commission you was so obliging as to send me. Should the Commission be used, I will immediately remit the Bond, and should it not be wanted, I will return it and the Bond and instructions. As Mr. Benbury was, when your express arrived, at his plantation, I was under the necessity of detaining him 'till I sent for Mr. Benbury, that we might consult what should be done after I received your letter by return of our express. I was confined for ten days to my room with an obstinate fever, part of which time it was a matter in doubt with me whether at this time of day I should be writing letters here or singing hallelujahs in Heaven. This will account for your not hearing from me before now.

I refer your Excellency to Mr. Benbury's joint letter and mine, and have the honor to be with singular regard and esteem Dear Gov.

Your very ob. huml. Servt.