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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
February 24, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 938-939


24th February, 1783.

Dear Sir:

When I wrote you by Messrs. Davies & Madgett, I was not so full acquainted with the character of the former as I have been since. I perceived that he was well bred, sensible & lively, & I was told that he was good at drawing, & could hit off a likeness remarkably well. The truth is he is a satyrical dog, and it is said excellent at caricature. It is also said that he has got in his pocket demnable likenesses of half the people in town. I am sorry I was not apprized of his talent in this way, otherwise I certainly would have had some of his performances. The first time they were at my house which was before my return from Hillsborough, Fanny exhibited her excellencies upon the guitar, accompanied by her own and the accomplished Miss Rowan’s voice. Davies afterwards asked what damned

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ugly thing that was that scratched on the guitar, & said the whitehaired girl’s singing was like a screech-owl in a hearth. I tell you all this for no other purpose than to give you timely notice to lay some scheme to procure, if possible, some of the drawings which this gentleman has made. I wish to have those of the two I have mentioned, and the ladies our neighbours who are so extremely fond of British officers; & I would be contented to take these accompanied by my own, with a chin reaching across the river. If you should succeed, it must be by means of some other person, as Davies will, I suppose, be fearful of offending some of your connexions.

I have not yet heard the half of what this genius has said and done; but Kitty has kept half a dozen of us roaring all day & yesterday with, every now-and-then a new anecdote; and last night at supper while the whole table was in a roar Fanny was tugging at the bone of a turkey with dreadful ire in her countenance, & abusing poor Davies in a shocking manner.

No news of beef, butter & soap yet.

My brother is well and much the better of last night’s laugh. J. Huske has grown fat upon it. They both present their compliments and hope you may succeed.