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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Message from Thomas Burke to the North Carolina General Assembly
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
April 18, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 289-290

[From Executive Letter Book.]

State of North Carolina,
April 18th, 1782.

To the Honorable the General Assembly—


Sundry Acts of Congress, letters from the President, letters from the Delegates and a letter from the Minister Plenipotentiary of his most Christian Majesty, which arrived in the recess of the General Assembly, will be laid before you.

Also letters from the Marquis de Bretigny and others on the subject of his agency.

Also sundry papers respecting the capture of a Flag of Truce in the harbor of Edenton after she had been surrendered and in possession of the Commanding Officer of Chowan County. This affair,

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which will be fully explained by the papers appearing to me to be an insult to the dignity of this State, I had resolved to chastise the offenders, but deeming it necessary to prevent the appearance of offence to Virginia to where they had taken shelter, the measures I took for that purpose were mistaken by the Governor, and he under took to give satisfaction in a matter which has proved to be out of his power which was never required.

It is being far from my opinion that the matter, though of much consequence, was so serious as to justify a quarrel with a friendly and confederated neighbor who had no intention to offend us. I pursued it no farther with the State than when I perceived their apprehensions, but resumed my first intentions, which, however, were frustrated by the delay occasioned by the interposition of Virginia.

I esteem it my duty to lay the whole transaction before the General Assembly, and beg leave to add, in order to give the General Assembly an opportunity of restraining or admitting the power that I intended by virtue of the Supreme Executive authority to have punished the offenders in so exemplary a manner as might deter others from insulting the digity of the State. What measures shall hereafter be taken will rest with the General Assembly to direct.


P. S.—Some papers, also, will be laid before you, which have just been delivered to me from the Speaker of the Senate, together with his letter and my answer.

T. B.