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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Hooper to Thomas Burke
Hooper, William, 1742-1790
July 17, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 543-545

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Sampson Hall, July 17th, 1781.

Dear Governor:

I came here the day after I left you and found the house crowded with Refugees and Prisoners whom Major Craig, in the pursuance of the Cartel, had suffered to leave Wilmington.

Amongst the rest were Mr. Thomas Maclaine, brother to our friend and Mr. John Huske who will hand you this: the only two of all the inhabitants of Wilmington who have refused to sign a petition to be admitted to a dependence upon Great Britain. This petition was set on foot soon after the British landed in Wilmington and all the powers of persuasion, insult and menace exercised to induced these two gentlemen to a compliance. But their virtue was superior to all, and they have the conscious satisfaction of retaining their freedom and independence.

These are characters that deserve the notice of their country and such, my dear Sir, as you will honor with your approbation as a man and as a Governor.

Mr. Huske, who is the bearer of this, is the young gentleman whom I mentioned to you as very well qualified to fill the department of a Secretary. What I apprehended would happen, has taken place. He has been compelled to abandon his property in Wilmington and all his expectations from Trade, and is now turned out an exile to begin the world again. I have known this gentleman with the most unreserved intimacy for several years. He has been in my house a great part of the time and I pledge myself to

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your Excellency that he is a gentleman of the most refined honor and unspotted integrity.

You will find that he has a good capacity and that he has improved it by the study of men and books, and in proportion to his years has made great proficiency. Indeed, my dear sir, I think him the most promising youth in the Country, and as such, beg leave to recommend him to your patronage and friendship. His having been in Europe and the West Indies has given him a liberal mode of thinking correspondent to your own and which I know you highly approve. He solicits some genteel employment that may support him and keep his mind employed. Should the Council appoint a Secretary in the room of Glasgow as Secretary to the Council or Private Secretary, or unite both these offices, I know no one who would discharge the trust with more reputation.

I must add as qualifications that he will be very useful, that he writes a fine hand, knows accounts and reads French. In a word, dear Governor, he is my friend and I have the vanity that even on this score he will claim a merit with you. A Doctr. Ingraham is here from Cross Creek who informs us that a Militia Captain just from Georgia and a Colonel Murphy from the Southward of this State bring accounts that Marion has wrote that the reinforcements arrived at Charles Town is very inconsiderable not more than three hundred, that the Fleet was chiefly loaded with families intending to settle in South Carolina with their furniture and Implements of husbandry, Merchandise, Goods, &c.

The Militia Captain affirms that both Savannah and 96 are evacuated.

Mr. Huske will give you the most perfect intelligence of the situation of affairs in this quarter and will hand you a few Newspapers containing very little information, but which shows the illiberality of a Garrison Press and the disingenuous artifices of the British to give popularity to their measures and draw contempt upon ours.

I have sent my son who is amongst the Refugees to Mr. Hogg's. He will be much honored should you condescend to notice him.

Armstrong left this yesterday on his way to Wilmington with a Flag. I set off for New Bern tomorrow where I hear that Col. Clark has arrived. There, Armstrong is to meet me with the result

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of his mission. I will esteem it a particular favor if you will now and then devote a leisure moment to giving me a line.

With the most sincere wishes that the success of your administration may be equal to your virtues and abilities, I beg leave to subscribe myself,

Dear Sir, Your Excellency's
Sincere friend & Obedt, H'ble Serv't.,

Pardon the blots this scrawl carries with it, the ink has been blown upon it and I have not paper to copy this or write another upon.