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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Cornelius Harnett to William Wilkinson
Harnett, Cornelius, 1723-1781
March 18, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 381-382


York Town, March 18th, 1778.

Dear Sir:

Since my last we have received no interesting intelligence from the Army. They remain still in quiet possession of Valley Forge Camp. I am apprehensive my Servant has attempted to go to Philadelphia & perhaps is got there. I can, however, hear nothing of him, altho' I have distributed advertisements all over the Country, & have employed some of our Light Horse to go in pursuit of him, but to no purpose. I expect to set off the middle of April, & I fear without a servant to attend me, as not one is to be had here as yet on any Terms. Jackey is not yet come to me. Mr. Mitchell promised by letter to send him as soon as the weather would permit; indeed we have had no weather fit for any person to travel in for two months. I have again written very pressingly to Mr. Mitchell for the child & expect every day his answer. He lives now at a place called Potsgrove, somewhere down towards

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Philadelphia. It is hoped Genl. Washington will be able to Open the Campaign with some vigorous exertions. Burgoyne's Army is stopped, you will see the particulars in the enclosed newspapers; I was not at liberty ts Communicate this intelligence sooner. I shall bring your nephew home with me, as I do not think it prudent to leave him at present in this Country; indeed the schools in general are broke up—perhaps he may be sent to Mecklinburg, to be of advantage to him. If Mrs. Harnett will consent I will send Nelly with him, but this we can conclude upon after my return. Your Bills I fear will not be paid. I wish you had not been Concerned with them. I ever Cautioned you against having any connection with that man Kennon, but to no purpose; but it was unpardonable to have no other Indorser than his Clerk. The business of Congress was taken up the whole day on Kennon's Bills on Saturday last, and from the Complexion of the House I am well satisfied they will not be paid. I shall bring it on again, & if they are not paid, I shall have them regularly protested, which is, I fear, all that can be done at present, & will send them on by Post, to give you an opportunity of endeavouring to procure payment from his Executor or Administrator. Upon my word you have acted exceedingly imprudent, to say no worse of it. You will be obliged to Commence a Suit, & throw good money after bad. I think I foresee what will happen on this wild goose transaction. It is surprising to me that you could not take the Currency of your own Country for what you sold, rather than take Bills drawn by a man whose estate was universally believed Insolvent, and only Indorsed by his Clerk. You will give me leave to tell you, that such a transaction cannot be reconciled to Common Sense. You have only lost 3500 Dollars by this prudent Step. Show this paragraph to Mrs. Harnett if you dare. I am, Sir,

Your sincere friend & obedt. Servt.,
William Wilkinson Esqr.

P. S. Since writing the foregoing, I have been favoured with yours of the 12 Feb. which I shall answer by next return Post.