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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Robert Bignall to Thomas Burke
Bignall, Robert, ca. 1730-1787
March 17, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 546-547


Tarborough, March 17th, 1782.


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency’s favour of the 27th Ulto., should have wrote you before now, but have had so sore a finger that I have not been able to put Pen to Paper till now. At Present ’tis not in my Power to make you acquainted with the Charges I have against the Public, and what will be the Charges to raise against the United States. I found it necessary some Time ago to send my Books and Papers out of the way of the

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Enemy, part of which I have not yet got home; however, when my accounts are settled with the Public I make no doubt, but that, from them and my Vouchers, the proper Debits may be made against the United States. I have very little Stock on hand, except oneeighth of a Vessel now at Sea and about Eight Hundred Pounds I have in Warrants from Governor Nash, for which I have never been able to obtain payment.

The Arms and Powder I Purchased was in pursuance of your Excellency’s Letter of the 7th of Sepr. last, where you request me to attend the sale of a Prize arrived at ———— there to purchase for the Public all the Military, Masters and Hospital Stores and Cloathing and everything that could be useful to the Public, and that you would take care that all my Promises shou’d be complied with. However, this Letter came too late to hand. But in October, being informed of the arrival of a Vessel with Arms and Powder at New Bern, I went down and made a Purchase of 650 Muskets and Bayonets and 650 lbs. Gun Powder, amounting to 216,666 2-3 lbs. Tobacco, and in your Absence I immediately acquainted the Speaker of the Senate with the Purchase I had made, and informed the quantity of Tobacco I then had on hand. He accordingly sent me an Order on the Commissioner of Hillsborough District for 60,000 lbs. Tobacco to enable me to pay for the Arms and Powder, and which I was in hopes wou’d have been sent me in Time that I might have discharged the Debt agreeable to Contract, but I have been greatly disappointed. I have received only five hhds., which I have applied to the Credit of the Public. However, I have lately paid a part of the Debt in Pork, and am in hopes I shall not trouble your Excellency to order any more Tobacco to be sent me. Agreeable to your request, I now send you the Account of the things sent Mrs. Burke in your Absence.

I have the honour to be,
Your Excellency’s Most Obedt. & very huml. Servt.,

P. S.
My finger is still sore, that ’tis in pain as I write. Your Excellency will therefore excuse the above scrawl.

R. B.