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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Abner Nash
Jefferson, Thomas, 1742-1826
June 16, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 852-853


Richmond, June 16th, 1780.

His Excellency Governor Nash, Newbern.


The tardiness and uncertainty of intelligence from the Southern States, & the very interesting situation of things there at present, have induced me to send Colo. Monroe, a sensible, judicious & confidential person, to the neighborhood of the hostile army, for the purpose of collecting & communicating notice of their movements. He is attended by a sufficient number of expresses to station one at every 40 miles distance from hence to the termination of his line, where he will keep with him a Serjeant & single horseman, these having instructions to bring on his letters by night & by day, without regard to weather. Intelligence will come to us at the rate of 120 miles in the 24 hours. I thought it proper to inform Your Excellency of this measure, as well because it might afford you a ready & safe conveyance for any communication with which you may please to Honour me, more especially if you should think proper to establish a similar line of communication with Col. Monroe, as that I might recommend that Gentleman to your patronage, aid and confidence. Should any circumstances arise

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n which the general good would be thereby promoted, Col. Monroe will inform your Excellency of the stations he shall take from time to time, and will take pleasure in communicating to you any intelligence he shall obtain, if you have no better means already established. The same difficulties of correspondence with Genl. Washington have induced me to take the liberty of suggesting to the Genl. the expediency of his establishing a like communication with this place.

The situation of the Convention troops in our country has rendered it necessary on every occasion to be watchful of every movement of the enemy which might terminate in an attempt to rescue them, which, with large bodies of cavalry, & by rapid marches, they might think practicable. I have therefore directed Colo. Wood to form a line of communication from the Barracks to the enemies' army in the same manner I do from this place, to send a trusty officer to watch their motion. I do not know who this gentleman will be, but beg leave to recommend him also to your Excellency's protection when he shall be made known to you.

Since writing so far, I have received a requisition of Congress, in conjunction with Governor Lee, to form a line of riders from Cape Henry to Philadelphia. This I have accordingly done, conducting the line through this place.

I have the honour to be, with the greatest esteem,
Your Excellency's most obedient & very humble Servant,