Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Ellis to Thomas Burke
Ellis, Richard, fl. 1765-1790
January 15, 1779
Volume 14, Page 252

-------------------- page 252 --------------------

New Bern, 15th January, 1779.

Dr. Sir:

The Bearer, Mr. Avery, carries up an appeal from the Court of Admiralty, to which I beg you w'd lend your assistance (if not repugnant to any Office you may hold at Congress) in having the Judgment reversed. It really is the business of every honest man to endeavour all that lies in his power to suppress such Scenes of Fraud, for if the Laws of the States are not strictly adhered to what have we left (God help us) to keep us together? It is a truth that this is the 3rd Voyage attempted to be made from Jamaica to this State during the present War by the same Party. Capt. John Davis, Commander of the captured Vessel, has a Brother in Jamaica, who is brother-in-Law to Mr. Cross, owner of this. The 1st Brother is now there, or was when she came away, so that by the assistance of the Captain and giving a drink of punch or Dinner to some of the American Prisoners now and then, an illicit trade is to be carried on with our Enemies, and when necessary supported by Perjury, Forgery, &c., &c., which will fully appear by the Papers herewith sent, and beg leave to refer you to them.

Indeed, Sir, if the public do not lay their hands on such doings as this, the honest Trader can never find what ground he stands upon. It is said here Congress intend laying their hands on Bermudas, &c.; if so, pray give me the earliest Advice of it. It may be serviceable to me, as I have 3 Vessels now out cruizing, and another almost ready to go.

If any late maritime resolve have passed, Pray send them by return of Mr. Avery.

I am, with great respect, Dr. Sir,
Your ob. Serv't,