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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to Van Schellebeck & Mailhol
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
March 17, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 549-550


Halifax, March 17th, 1782.


I have Just received yours of March 14th. I wrote to you a Letter dated March the 3d, in which I explained my Ideas, as far as your Letters to the Speaker of the Senate, which came to my hands, and that from the Marquis De Bretigney to myself enabled me to Comprehend the Subject. I delayed sending forward the Letter, because I had learned that some Copies of Invoices were sent by you, which might be in my power to see and which might give me the Information I wanted. I have found on Inspecting that Invoice that the Quantity and Amount of what arrived in your Schooner is ascertained, but now what the Marquis has procured on the Account and Credit of the Express and I refer you thereto for what further relates to the subject of your former Letters.

Relatively to your letter now before me, I perceive you Mistake our mode of Business. If your Schooner was pressed by Public Order the value and price of Freight ought to have been ascertained by persons on Oath before her deprature, but as I perceive by your Account rendered that that was not done, the Account ought now to be liquidated by the public Auditors, and what shall be admitted by them becomes a Debt against the Public Treasury. Should you pay yourselves with the Articles on hand you would be Masters of the Question, how much should be paid, and the public would have no Voice in the decision, which cannot be admitted, and you would be retaining from the Public Articles necessary for their defence, which I cannot allow. Your Account will be laid before the Assembly, who will no doubt order Payment of what shall be deemed Just.

I have received no account from the Speaker of the Senate of the Bill in favor of Mr. Clauss. It is necessary that I be furnished with a Copy of the Bill, of the letter of advice, and every Information relative thereto, before I can take any order thereon.

The Arms and powder last arrived are announced in the Marquis’s Letter, but no Invoice or Bill of Lading. Be so good as to

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transmit me Copies of both, and Suspend the taking of 10 P ct. for freight until you hear from me afterwards, when I shall decide whether the State shall pay the freight in some other Commodities which may be suitable to you.

The Pork, which the Speaker of the Senate ordered to be delivered to you, was, as appears by his Letter to me, the old Pork which was in Newbern District; I but Explained this to Major Mountflorence, not intending in the least to interfere in the business.

I shall give Orders for removing the Arms and Stores without delay.

I am, Gentlemen, yr. Obt. Servt.,