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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Smith, Bell & Co. to Thomas Burke
Smith, Bell & Co.
March 30, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 572-574


Edenton, March 30th, 1782.


During your late absence from this State the Honourable Alexander Martin, Esquire, (then acting Governor) made application to the Merchants of this place for a supply of such articles as they had it in their power to furnish for the use of the Army. We,

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knowing that he could not be amply supplied from this Town, from a scarcity of the Articles wanted, thought it our Duty to use our Interest with our Friends, Messrs. Hunter, Banks & Co., of Virginia, in whose power we knew it was to furnish many necessary Articles, from their late Captures off Charlestown, introduced them to his Excellency, the Governor, & vouched on the part of the State for the performance of any Engagements. It was then immediately concluded on, that the said Hunter, Banks & Co., should furnish sundry Articles then recited, at the advance at which they had sold the bulk of the same Cargoe, to be paid for in Tobacco or Pork at the Current prices of those Articles.

It was then in their power immediately to inform the exact amount they could furnish or whence the Goods lay, but it was to be done through us as soon as possible, in conformity to which we yesterday received their Letter of the 22nd, Current covering Invoices which we now inclose you, to the amount of four thousand five hundred & Twenty-One pounds 19/. We are desired to inform you, the Goods mentioned in the Invoice, are now in Richmond subject to your Order; as Messrs. Hunter, Banks & Co. rely on us to finish this business for them we have desired Mr. William Gilmour, Merchant in Halifax, to obtain the necessary Certificate for the Receipt of the Goods and any further security for payment that is customarily allowed by the public to the Seller.

We take this opportunity to express our Gratitude for the lenient manner in which we have been called upon since the Commencement of your Administration for supplies for the Army & to assure you that it will ever be our Study to contribute as much as in our power to the support of the Common Cause we are engaged in, & to the Emolument of this State in particular.

We have the Honour to be,
With the utmost Respect,
Your Excellency’s Most obedient
& very Hbl. Servts.,

On the back of this letter, in Gov. Burke’s handwriting, is the following:

Rec’d. Apl. 19th.

22nd applied for Informn. to Spk. of Senate, who answd. that no

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Such Contract exists in Such Manner as to be binding on the State.

Answd. by inclosing the Speaker’s Information, referring them to future Magistrate and thanking them for their favorable expressions, declaring my wishes in favor of the general understanding of the utility of Commerce and a liberal patronage and protection for it.