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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Benjamin Hawkins to Abner Nash
Hawkins, Benjamin, 1754-1816
June 27, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 863-864


Newbern, June 27th, 1780.

To His Excellency Gov. Nash

Dear Sir:

As you requested, I have sent Mr. Jas. Speed to Edenton district to purchase corn. He is instructed to send it immediately to Wilmington if practicable; if not, to this place. I believe there are great quantities there. We have lately had considerable importations from there, the amount said to be five hundred barrels. Some gentlemen in town have purchased it up, at seventy and seventy five pounds per barrel. I have had thirty copies of your proclamation printed, and am sending them to the different parts of the state.

I wish that regard may be paid to it that it deserves, tho' I doubt it will not.

The flag returned last evening; the President opened the Letters, and we conclude it highly necessary to give you the earliest perusal of them, and for that purpose send them to you by express. Genl. Lincoln was gone to Philadelphia; Mr. Reuford did not see any of our Officers or Soldiers, but was informed that they were bare of clothing. He says he was twice on shore, the first day treated with great respect, but the next day supplied with a guard to attend him. He says that Genl. Clinton, with six thousand of the best troops, had sailed some time past, said to be to New York,

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Virginia or the West Indies, but where he could not learn. Respecting their going to the West Indies, it was reported that the English had blocked up the French fleet, and wanted nothing but a few land forces, in addition to those they already have, to take Martinique. He heard that a force was coming over from France to the continent; their information was so good that they knew the particular Regiments and commanding officers. They made no doubt of conquering us. He heard it said by the British officers that even the great Col. Williamson had come in and begged protection, and was paroled. He denies the charge against him for treating the fort with contempt, and declares that he came to Anchor, and went into the fort, with his letters; that the officer directed him up to town, and declared that he had nothing to do with him, as his business was with the commander in Chief; that when he landed he applyed to a British officer for instructions how to get to the Chief Officer, but the information received being not satisfactory, that he went himself, and with a person he knew who conducted him to the guard, where he was attended by the Aid as above said. You have also a letter from Col. Long; the President will send him the money as soon as opportunity permits. General Lillington sent to know what he should do respecting the recruiting service; that officers had applyed to him for money, large sums being already granted for that purpose. He was answered with the recommendation Council founded on Gen. Sumner's proposition of forming his officers into a corps of horse, desiring him to recommend it to this Gentleman to join their General without delay. Application has been made to me to load your Schooner with provisions and send her to Hispaniola. The owners are desirous of doing it, as being most advantageous to them. If I bargain with them, I shall bargain for you in the same manner as tho' I was the owner. You have herewith a Letter from your Lady.

I am,
With the highest sentiments of regard,
Dear Sir, Your most Affc.,

I shall send some supplies without loss of time.