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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Edward Starkey to Richard Caswell
Starkey, Edward, d. 1789
December 22, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 330-331

[From Executive Letter Book.]

White Oak Decr 22d 1778.


Last saturday was brought into this Inlet a French vessel from Cape Francois, that had been captured the 1st of this month off the Cape of Delaware by a British Cruiser, belonging to a Fleet, of about 60 sail, said to be bound to St. Augustine tho' the French Captain conjectured they were intended for Jamaica. The course they steered So.So. west, while this vessel remained with them would induce me to believe their determination was somewhere to the South of this Continent. The French Captain informed me the enemy's fleet was extremely short of provisions, and that they

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pillaged him of most of what he had. That some days after he was captured, his vessel was separated from the Enemy's Fleet in a gale of wind, and driven on our Coast. Their provisions being exhausted, the Prize Master with the consent of his people, surrendered the vessel to the Captain, who came ashore, and got assistance to bring the vessel into Port. The Captain has put his business into my hands, and I yesterday morning made an entry of the vessel in the Naval office. I would wish to have your opinion, as an entry in the proper office has been made, and as the vessel came from a place in alliance with us, and as there are no persons who have any pretensions to any part of the vessel or Cargo, but such as are well satisfied with the Contract made with the Captain, whether the Court of Admiralty has any thing to do in the matter, and if it has shall be extremely obliged to you for your directions in what manner I ought to act.

My not attending the last meeting of Council prevented my informing you that it was out of my power to purchase Pork at the price limited. I could have made up almost any quantity at £9 and £10, and I believe I can yet procure a good deal at that rate, but as the price was higher than any other purchasers for the public gave, I thought it necessary to trouble you about it. I am to load this French vessel with Lumber and Naval Stores, so that my attending the Assembly will be very prejudicial to me, as I am certain she cannot have the same despatch in my absence as if I should be at Home, but if you think my attendance cannot be dispensed with, I will be at Newington at the time appointed by your Excellency for setting off for Halifax. I am Sir, with great respect

Your Mo. ob. huml. Servt.