Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Johnston to Thomas Burke
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
June 23, 1781 - June 27, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 491-492


Philadelphia, June 23rd, 1781.

Dear Sir:

I had the pleasure of receiving your Letter of the 4th of last month and is the latest intelligence I have received from that Country. Your representation differed very little from what I expected from that quarter so I was not much surprised, you were very much out, contrary to your usual Sagacity, with regard to the movements of Lord Cornwallis, indeed both Green and his Lordship have taken their Measures in a manner so diametrically opposite to what was generally expected that you were not the only person who was disappointed. The Assembly is now sitting at this place and it is said to discover a disposition to do great matters, but you know these people better than I do and can better Judge what is to be expected from them. You will before this reaches you have heard that a Negociation for peace is on foot in Europe under the Mediation of the Emperor and Empress-Queen of Russia; the Events of this Campaign will determine whether America is to reap any advantage from this measure. We have the most friendly and unequivocal Assurances from our ally that our Interests will be attended to and that he will make good on his part every thing that he has undertaken.

We have just heard of a reinforcement having arrived at Charles Town on the 10th of this month, said to consist of about two thousand men, three thousand were said to have embarked in that fleet,

-------------------- page 492 --------------------
the remainder are supposed to have gone to the West Indies or come to Virginia. The Alliance is arrived at Boston, having taken several prizes. The Ship Marquis De la Fayette is likewise said to have arrived in one of the Eastern Ports with Arms and Cloathing but this last wants confirmation. We have Letters from Paris as late as the fourth of April, but they contain nothing of an interesting nature. Some intercepted letters make it evident that the British have suffered very considerably in the East Indies from an Army of the Asiaticks under the command of a very enterprizing prince, whose Name I do not recollect, in the French Interest.

I have heard that our Assembly was to meet the 15th Instant and not doubting, but the Delegates are by this time ready to set off for this place, I shall turn my face homeward as soon as compleated a little business of considerable importance to our State. My compliments to all our friends. I wish I had some good news to write. I hope to be able to tell them some when I return. In the mean time believe me with the most Sincere regard & Esteem,

Dear Sir,

P S. The Assembly adjourned yesterday after passing a Law for compleating their Quota of Troops which it is thought will be effectually executed. They have very judiciously put their funds under the direction of your friend R. Morris which will have a very happy effect on their Credit. I consider myself as particularly unfortunate in not having been able to cultivate an acquaintenance with that Gentleman, owing partly to my indisposition and in some measure to my ignorance of the Etiquette of this place. There is no confirmation of the Report respecting the arrival of the Ship Fayette has not yet taken place and I fear she is lost.

June 27th.