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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Samuel Strudwick to Thomas Burke
Strudwick, Samuel, d. 1797
July 1781
Volume 15, Pages 503-504


Stag-Park, July, 1781.

Dear Sir:

If to prefer the Public Welfare to Every private Consideration is a certain Mark of Real patriotism, I may justly lay Claim to a share of it when I congratulate you (as I do most sincerely) on your promotion to the Government, Since I am thereby deprived of the Ablest Advocate, and Compleatest Orator our Country affords. If it be true that “salus populi suprema dea est” then We are happy in having at our head the Man who best understands, and will most promote this desirable End.

I take the Liberty of an Old Friend to write to you without ceremony or Reserve. And I take the Liberty of a citizen to suggest to you what the Public expects at your hands, which is no less than the putting a Period to their Calamities Either by chasing their Enemies, Or if That is not in your power, by making such Terms for them as may save them from the Extremest Rigors of War, and the Fate of a vanquished people.

There is another thing of no small Importance to the Ease of the people, and the quiet of the Country with which I flatter myself from your administration, and that is the suppressing the Licentiousness, both of the Regular and Militia Soldiery: the Contributions which the Law exacts, and the necessity of the Service requires would be chearfully submitted to, if Ravage and plunder were not superaded. The noble Stand you made in behalf of freedom and the Rights of the people when Genl. Gates commanded at Hillsboro, is to me a certain presage that you will not abandon your Countrymen to the Rapacity of unfeeling Men, for tho' I am very sensible that “War cannot be kept to a Sett Diet,” yet there

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is certainly no Occasion to gorge it with the Vitals of a whole people.

I am with the most lasting Regard & Esteem, Dear Sir,
Your most Obedient and most humble Servant,

P. S.

When I was last in the Back Country an officer of Low Rank in the Continental Service came to impress my Horses. I produced the Governor's protection, to which he paid no Regard, saying, “He was a Continental Officer and not under the Governor's Command.” By the By I know him to be a Citizen of this State. I Content myself with relating the Fact because I know everything with which it is fraught will in a moment occur to you.

S. S.