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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to John Alexander Lillington
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
April 07, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 582-584


Hillsborough, Apl. 7th, 1782.

Dear Sir:

Yours of March 29th, with inclosures, came to hand last Night. I thank you for your Congratulations and friendly wishes. You have not been quite so Successful in obtaining returns as I wish, and I hope your Diligence will Compleat them in time for the

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Assembly. One of the returns is without titles, but from some of the Names I Judge it to be from Brunswick.

Since my return I have been endeavouring to put the State Regiment in Condition for executing the plan I had proposed before my capture, so far as related to the disaffected, the object of which was to remove forever from our Country those men who have infested it, but the Counties have been so deficient in furnishing their draughts, that I have not been able to make it as Strong as I think Necessary. However, I have what I could collect now in train for Service, and they will very soon begin their operations against Fanning and his Party. Their operations will be directed Southeasterly, and I hope your part of the Country will at length be rendered Secure against Internal Enemies, but if the Enemy invade us in force, I am afraid we shall not be able to prevent them from landing.

I am inclined to think the report of the Tories being embodied is premature, as I have a letter from General Greene dated 18th March in which no mention is made of it, and which points out Georgetown in Security. However, it is well to be very attentive and I wish you to obtain perfect Intelligence by means of some trusty Spy. In the meantime, unless you have received more pointed Information, the orders for the march of the Militia may remain Suspended, but if the Tories are actually embodied, the Militia must march against them, and Arms and Amunition shall be furnished.

Mr. Walker’s meddling with Flags of Truce, unless he be the military Commanding Officer at the post, is an Error. Flags are altogether a Military affair, and Subject to the Law of Nations, and as they are always of Importance, as they may affect an Intercourse with the Enemy, the report of them always Should be made to the Commander in Chief, especially when they come by water. You will, therefore, order one of your Militia Officers to take Charge of the Flag and the passengers, and report to me the purport thereof, meantime keeping the passengers, Officers and crew under such degree of confinement and restraint as you deem Necessary. This, Sir, is the true mode of proceeding with respect to Flags in General, and Such as I hope you will in future observe. Mr. Walker, I presume, will be Sensible of his mistake, and make no difficulty of

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relinquishing a business with which he cannot lawfully Intermeddle, but Should he be so indiscreet as to resist, which I cannot presume, you must take Measures to Compel him.

The General Assembly, if made sensible of the Injury done the Officers in the Settlement of their Accounts, I am persuaded, would apply a Remedy.

I am sorry I cannot furnish you with money to procure the Articles you want. If you can procure any from the Sheriffs for the purpose, I will take in your draughts and give warrants on the Treasury.

I am, Sir., your obdt. St.,