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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Stephen Cabarrus
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
June 1782
Volume 16, Pages 335-336

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Halifax, June . ., . . . . .


I am favoured with yours of this instant and beg leave to return you thanks for your congratulations on my election to the Government, and the good opinion you were pleased to entertain of my future administration.

As to the chief subject of your letter, I am sorry, Sir, you happen to be the person on whom the Baron De Glaubeck has imposed by selling you a horse which was none of his, but to my knowledge is the property of the State. Colonel Burton has no private claim to that horse, but as Quarter Master of the State had him, with others in his possession, being purchased for public service, and by my orders at that time when the Government devolved on me, was delivered the Baron to do duty on in the State Troops as Major on this express condition, to be returned to the State when he, the

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Baron, quitted the Regiment; this seemed to be as generally known as the Baron, and was several times mentioned among the Gentlemen when I was at Edenton. The Baron being a foreigner, was a stranger to me and the General Assembly as to his moral Character, his military conduct at the Cowpens being his only recommendation to Congress and this State; but this will by no means give a sanction to his parting with the property of the State, which can be so easily ascertained, more than a waggoner selling a public waggon and team in his possession, or a Soldier his gun which may be laid hold of wherever found.

The case of an Agent or Factor is not applicable to the Baron, he had no such authority from the State, to buy or sell public Horses and should that Doctrine hold good it would soon be dangerous for the army, every villainous Officer and Soldier would be embezzling away and disposing of the very means of our public defence with impunity; every person buying in such cases must be satisfied he is dealing with Gentlemen of Integrity as we would presume all Officers of the Army to be, tho’ sometimes evidenced to the contrary, otherwise they must suffer and not the public.

The State has no occasion of entering into a Law suit in its military capacity, where its property for military services is withheld, and the same without the least doubt ascertained with precision.

Your politeness and attachment to the interest of this Country, of which we are highly sensible, added to your good sense, must weigh with you in the above observations and make it unnecessary to urge further on this subject.

You will, therefore, please to deliver the said Horse to —— Bass, the bearer hereof, who waits on you for this purpose, whose receipt will be sufficient exoneration, as the Army and State stand in great need of horses which must be had either by purchase or impressment.

I have the Honor, &c.,