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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to Richard Caswell
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
March 18, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 44-45

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, March 18th, 1779.

Dr. Sir:

We have not been favored with one line from you, either public or private, since our arrival in this City. I suppose the exertions our State is making for the Southern service fully occupy your times and thoughts. I will, therefore, not complain of your silence, but I must beg leave to suggest to you that want of information relative to many objects, which must have been before the Assembly, leaves us in a situation very awkward and disagreeable. The recruiting the Continental Battalions, the clothing the Troops and officers, the supplying them with the necessaries in such a manner as to prevent their suffering injuriously under the depreciation of the public currency, the efforts for supporting public credit, and supplying funds for reducing the paper currency, are subjects of the highest consequence, and which are, in Congress, objects of unremitting solicitude. On these the most material measures must be ultimately taken by the respective States, and Congress ought to be informed as early as possible of their several exertions.

I need not suggest reasons for this to you, but I beg you to consider how disagreeable our situation must be for want of information. We cannot give the reasonable satisfaction to Congress of saying what our State has or has not done.

Our fellow citizens, who are in the military line, are daily applying to us to know what provisions are made for them, (what attention their Country gives to their sufferings.) Are they the only Troops who are to be neglected by their more immediate fellow Citizens for whose rights they are contending at the certain loss of time, of health, of domestic comforts, and the imminent peril of life, while other Troops are the objects of the most liberal and generous attention of the States, the States for whose quota they have engaged? I, for my own part, have no doubt that our Country is as generous as any other in the Union, and I hope has the same just sense of the attention due to Citizens so useful and meritorious, as those of the military order, but uniformed as I am, I can give no satisfactory answer to questions so reasonable,

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so interesting and so pathetic, and, believe me, Sir, I feel the most poignant concern when I am obliged to dismiss any of those brave and valuable men, without that satisfaction which they have so much just reason to expect. I beg of you, Sir, to order the proper officers to trasmit to us an account of what has been done by the Assembly on the above matters.

I can give you no news that is interesting; unimportant trifles are neither worth your time or mine, and I will not trouble you with them. Affairs of moment are indeed before Congress, but not yet ripe for promulgation.

I wish you, Sir, all possible honor and happiness.
And am, very sincerely
Your very ob. Serv't,