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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Penn, Thomas Burke, and Allen Jones to Richard Caswell
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788; Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783; Jones, Allen, 1739-1807
February 09, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 334-335

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, February 9th, 1780.


You will, before this arrives, have received some resolutions of Congress for recruiting the Army, a business of the highest importance at all times, but now peculiarly interesting by reason of the critical situation of public affairs, which requires the next campaign to be prosecuted with such vigor as may entirely expel the Enemy from every part of the United States. We are persuaded that the advantages arising from such decisive success are obvious to every one in the General Assembly, and scarcely think we have any occasion to add any other suggestion to excite their most vigorous and expeditious exertions for preparing a formidable force to take the field as early as possible; but we cannot suppress an opinion which we have formed upon good grounds, that the Restoration of peace and the future tranquility of the United States, and particularly those to the Southward, in a great measure depend on the complete Expulsion of the Enemy by the operations of the current year. The proportions of the several States are far from being estimated by any precise or satisfactory rule; and you will perceive a resolution for an equitable adjustment of the expense attending the raising and providing for such Troops as shall be found to be beyond the due proportions.

The ideas we have of the circumstances of the State we have the honor to represent determined us to endeavor to obtain a resolution for making all the efforts of the States for raising men, whether as Regulars or Militia, a common Expense. We remembered the vast sums disbursed by the State, and vast expenses incurred in calling out the Militia, and in making extraordinary exertions in a War whose object is common and whose operations, perhaps, have been less threatening to her than to her neighbor. We also foresaw that she must make still greater Exertions in consequence of the Enemy's having pointed their hostilities principally against the Southern States; and we deem it our duty, Especially as doubts were thrown out in Debate, to take the sense of Congress directly on the question in order that the General Assembly may be fully informed on a subject so interesting to their Constituents. We have failed in our

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motion, as you will see by the enclosed Extract from the Journals. The States who voted against it are very apprehensive of very great and perhaps unnecessary expense being the consequence of such a resolution, were it to have retrospect, but seem to have no material objection to its future operations. As our State is much interested in the Restoration operations, we did not choose to move it in that form without more particular Instructions from the State.

We have the honor to be
Your Excellency's Ob. Servts.