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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Charles François Adrien Le Paulmier, Chevalier d'Anmours to Richard Caswell
Anmours, Charles François Adrien Le Paulmier, chevalier d', 1742-1809
April 01, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 365-367

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton, April 1st, 1780.


I have the honor to subjoin to this the Credential Letter his Excellency, the Chevelier de la Luzerne, sent me some time ago, on account of my being appointed Consul of France to the state under your Excellency's Government. I expected to have that of delivering it myself in your hands, but am prevented from doing it by some essential and unforseen affairs that immediately require my presence in Virginia and Maryland, in which states I also hold the same commission. I am excessively proud, Sir, of being appointed in that quality to the State of North Carolina, as I am perfectly well acquainted with the sincere regard my Sovereign entertains for that Commonwealth. Nothing on my side will be spared to maintain a solid union between its subjects and those of the King my Master that do or will hereafter reside in it. I leave to your Excellency, the honorable Council and the Honorables the Houses of Assembly's choice how to authenticate and make known the power that Commission gives me over his most Christian Majesty's subjects residing in this state. I beg leave, however, to recommend the measures that were taken in Virginia by an Act of its Assembly in its last Session, and the proclamation of the Governor in consequence of it; tho' they are but temporary and eventual ones, yet they will serve till a general plan be settled between our Ministers and the Americans in France. I also take the liberty of representing to the Legislative

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and Executive powers that it is very essential to make proper particular regulations for the encouragement of the French trade in this state, the want of which, I perceive, has been ruinous to that carried by France at the beginning of the present War; and of course disgusted the foreign merchants from sending any more ships into the ports of North Carolina. There was a time when they crowded into its harbors as much as circumstances arising from war could admit of it. Now there is scarcely one, and (I say it with regret) there is very little prospect they will ever venture upon any such expeditions till they see proper steps taken to protect them in every manner, and particularly to stop the desertion of their crews. It is too well known that, specially in that point, their Masters could never obtain the least redress; nothing but an active and severe law upon that subject can obviate to that inconveniency, the consequence of which must be fatal to all foreign commerce, and to this state also. I will still observe that it would be necessary that I should be at liberty to appoint such agents in every port of the state in order to act in my absence in fortuitous cases that admit of no delay, and patronize the French Ships that might arrive in them. Those agents whom I would choose, either amongst the American or French Merchants, ought to be free from the Militia Law, or any other service that may take them from the place of their residence. I believe New Bern, Edenton, Bath, Beaufort, Brunswick and Wilmington would be the proper places where they ought to be appointed. I flatter myself, Sir, that you will be so good as to transmit this to the honorable the Council of the State, and the honorable the house of Assembly, and also communicate to me their Resolutions on those important subjects, as well as the act which will authenticate my Commission in North Carolina, and your proclamation in consequence thereof.

I am, with the highest consideration and regard, Sir,
Your Excellency's mo. ob. & humbl. Servt.,
Consul for his most Christian Majesty in the States of North Carolina & Virginia and Maryland.
Gov. Caswell.

P. S. Be pleased to direct your letters at Williamsburg, where

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I shall leave orders to forward them to me, wherever I may be when they arrive there.