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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Archibald Maclaine to Thomas Burke
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
March 30, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 570-571


30th March, 1782.

Dear Sir:

I wrote your Excellency a pretty long letter by Mr. Hooper & fear you may think an apology necessary for many things mentioned in it.

I am now indeed to trouble you again in behalf of Miss Jane Meares of New Hanover County. She is a near relation of Mr. Swann by her mother, but by her father her connexions are in Ireland. She has lately had letters from that Kingdom, by which she is informed that an uncle, lately dead, has left her a considerable legacy, but that reports have said that she was married & had removed to some other part of America. This intelligence has given her some uneasiness and she is apprehensive that her uncle’s executors may take occasion from the report of her marriage to

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withhold the legacy, as money due to a man in a State of rebellion. Her wish, therefore, is to take a voyage to Ireland and to accomplish that purpose, she wishes for your Excellency’s permission to leave the State for such time as may be necessary to transact her private business. Perhaps a lady might have been safe without such permission, but she is willing to take every step that prudence suggests to prevent those who appear very solicitous to grasp everything on which they can lay hold, and appropriate it, not to the public, but their own use. If you should think the request not improper, you will please to inclose to me permission for Miss Meares to go to Charlestown or any other British Post to proceed to Ireland, &c.

Since my letter by Mr. Hooper, I have seen one from Mr. London, wherein he mentions that he had heard lately from Mr. Burgwin, who intended to go, or was gone from Denmark to Ostend, from whence he was to come or write here about Mr. Burgwin’s affairs. I confess I feel no small degree of anxiety, not only as I have been under personal obligations to him, but as I feel for the infirmities of human nature. I am perfectly satisfied that he is not an enemy to the State from numberless circumstances, and his leaving it so early as the latter end of February, or beginning of March last year, convinces me that the fears arising from the consequences of a War was his only inducement to leave the country. He was so apprehensive of the depredations of Armies, and the violence of parties, that he was actually in treaty before the arrival of the British in this town for the sale of his property. All men are not endued with the same firmness of mind, and some allowances ought to be made for those weaknesses to which humanity is Subject.

I am, with great respect and Esteem,
Dear Sir,
Your Excellency’s obedient Servant,
His Excellency, Governor Burke.